The three-plus hour rain delay was enough to send some Washington fans home Thursday night at Nationals Park. Although the rain was slow to arrive (and quick to leave), more than a few waited it out and were present for the first pitch at 10:10 p.m.
Danny Hudson, a firefighter, bought tickets for the game as a birthday present to his 8-year-old son, Carter, who wore a navy Bryce Harper T-shirt.
“We sat here most of the time, ate some peanuts,” said Danny, 35. “We were only going to leave if they postponed the game.”
Carter, Danny said, had never been to a night game, and this would be his first. The late start left the father frustrated, however, but thankful school was out — Carter’s bedtime is usually 9 p.m.
“We thought they would have got a lot of ballgame in, so that’s why we stayed,” Danny said. “So it was pretty frustrating.”
Matthew Dukes, 33-year-old Londoner, was waiting to see his first baseball game.
“It was a bit frustrating,” Dukes said. “But I’ve never been to a baseball game before, so I was going to stick it out.”
John Elliot, a 71-year-old retiree, has been a Nationals fan since the team arrived in D.C. in 2005. He rents an apartment a block away from Nationals Park, making the decision an easy one.
“It’s the most ridiculous long rain delay I’ve ever experienced because they could have played for two hours ,” Elliot said. “It’s unfair to the fans who have to take the Metro and get up and go to work.”
Michael McCormick, a 55-year-old who retired from government, came to the game with his 12-year-old son, Robert. They got to the ballpark at 5 p.m. to watch batting practice and see the teams warm up. But when they arrived, the tarp was on the field. The players were not.
“We were waiting to see what the club was going to do,” Michael McCormick said. “It was very odd, they could have, with the amount of time that elapsed played five innings.”
They probably could have played more. McCormick noted that, during the delay, the Phillies-Pirates game was being shown on the video board. It rained in Philadelphia, but there was never a rain delay.
“For the amount of time that we were in a delay here, they played the entire game in Philly,” McCormick said. “And they had rain. We had a sprinkle.”