“[Astros pitcher Zack] Greinke was just dealing, and it was a miserable game to watch as a Nats fan,” Turner, 19, said in a phone interview on Thursday. “So I leaned over to my buddy, in about the fifth inning, and I said, ‘If we win this game, I’m going to do a slip-and-slide across the dugout.’ He said, ‘I don’t believe you, but change my mind.’”
Turner is nothing if not a man of his word, so when Nationals closer Daniel Hudson struck out Michael Brantley to clinch Washington’s first MLB title since 1924, he climbed on top of the first base dugout, ripped off his rain-soaked burgundy T-shirt, took five short steps and did his best Trea Turner impression. (No relation.)
Now, about Turner’s shirt. He said he took it off shortly after he arrived at his seat in the bottom of the first inning. Around the fifth, he put it back on, hoping to alter the Nationals’ mojo.
“Next thing I know, we were winning, and I was like I can’t take this off until the end,” he said.
After the Nationals added a couple of insurance runs in the top of the ninth inning, Turner asked his friend to rip his shirt with a key in preparation for a potential slide.
“The shirt was pre-ripped because I had do it quick,” Turner explained. “I couldn’t risk taking the few extra seconds to start the rip and let security get a hold of me. I wish I could say it wasn’t ripped, but I’m not going to lie to you.”
“I think everyone was just kind of in shock that we won,” Turner said. “Nobody came up to me saying you’re banned for life or anything. I was ready to be taken somewhere. I gave my buddy my wallet, my keys, my phone, everything, just for that one moment.”
As Turner and his friends made their way out of Nationals Park, fans high-fived him and slapped his bare, wet back.
“Some of them hurt,” he said. “Some of them don’t know their own strength. But everyone was just hyped. It was a hyped time. The first World Series in Nationals history. You can’t not get hyped over that.”
Turner, a lifelong D.C. sports fan who has lived in Northern Virginia for the last 14 years, said he woke up with a small bruise on his chest and countless texts from his friends who saw the video of his slide, which had been viewed nearly 4 million times by Thursday afternoon.
“My mom woke me up at 6:30 a.m. and was like, ‘Jason, you’re on the news.’ I said, ‘I’m on the news for what?’”
CNN and Fox reached out about interviews. Turner, who said he was “too tired” to go to class on Thursday, plans to be at Saturday’s parade, if not in it.
“Tryna let me ride on a float at the parade?” he tweeted at the Nationals.
“If it’s raining and cold, I might have to wear a shirt,” Turner said. “If it’s good weather, I might have to rip it off again. We’ll see what happens.”
Read more on the Nationals: