On May 4, 2006, Marlins first baseman Justin Bour was wearing a Westfield Bulldogs jersey as his team beat the hated Centreville Wildcats, 6-0, in a Northern Virginia public school baseball showdown. Nine years later, Bour stood at first base on a D.C.-area baseball field again — this time at Nationals Park in a Miami Marlins jersey. As a senior at Westfield, he homered six times. Nearly a decade later, he homered off Nationals starter Jordan Zimmermann in Miami’s 6-4 loss.
“For my family and friends, it was a perfect day because I hit a home run and the Nats won,” Bour said. “Whenever we beat the Nats, they’re all mad at me. They were appreciative. I didn’t really like the outcome. But it’s always nice to be able to come home.”
Bour was a first team All-Met in 2006 after hitting .523 with 23 RBI while leading Westfield to a division title. He was an Honorable Mention All-Met selection as a junior in 2005.
“That was very cool,” Bour said. “All Met was one of the big honors you could get in this area. So that was very exciting.”
After playing at Westfield, Bour followed his parents’ and brother’s lead and headed to George Mason, where he accumulated 46 career home runs, 187 RBI, a .621 career slugging percentage and a .347 batting average. The 6-4, 250-pound slugger sat in front of his locker in the visitor’s clubhouse at Nationals Park typing on a phone shod with a green and yellow George Mason Patriots cover. He played three seasons there, and was drafted by the Cubs in the 25th round of the 2009 draft, then drafted by the Marlins in the 2013 Rule 5 draft.
“I’m proud of where I went to school,” Bour said. “I was blessed to be able to play as a freshman and develop my game. I have a lot of pride in that school, and am very happy with what they were able to do for my career.”
Bour says he did not grow up following the Nationals — more a baseball player than baseball fan. Nationals Park is as close as Bour has played to home since college. He played here in September last season, too.
“Before that, the closest I’ve ever been to home is like seven hours,” Bour said. “Then last year, my parents could obviously go to Philly and New York and stuff like that, but this is a nice little car ride.”