It’s not another Occupy movement when the Phillies visit the Nationals Park, it just seems that way.
Ever since the Nationals were born in 2005, it feels like Citizens Bank Park South whenever the Phillies invade our nation’s capital.
But maybe not this year. The Nationals launched a “Take Back The Park” initiative in January designed to prevent Phillies fans from entering their park. Tickets for the three-game series have only been available for season-ticket holders and residents of Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C.
“I like it when the people in the ballpark support us,” said injured Nationals slugger Mike Morse. “Sometimes, it feels like you’re the away team playing in your own park since so many fans have the opposing colors on. That’s great for the Phillies, but I would rather have Nationals fans at our ballpark.”
The Nationals are taking this so seriously that Washington mayor Vincent C. Gray issued a proclamation Thursday declaring the three-game set in D.C. “Natitude Weekend.”
With so many secondary ticket markets and relatives and friends in the D.C. area, it’s hard to imagine how the Nationals will keep Phillies fans out of their park.
“Good luck with that,” Laynce Nix said. “That’s going to be difficult for them.”
Nix, a former Nat, who joined the Phillies during the offseason, recalls what it was like when the Nationals hosted his new team.
“It felt like a Phillies home game when I played there,” Nix said. “Last year, the Phillies fans really packed the park. That’s the way it is when your fans are that supportive. I don’t know how they can stop Phillies fans from going down there, if that’s what they want to do.”