Half Street Irregulars take on the Sunday night game at CitiField: Road Trip!

Editor Notes in a Q&A with Lisa R. of Half Street Irregulars:

One of the best fan groups in NatsTown who call themselves The Half Street Irregulars descended on CitiField for last night’s game. Lisa R. (@In2Nats) and Jen U. (@vandygirl1998) coordinated the bus and tickets. Jen worked with the Mets group sales personnel to do a group purchase. Tickets were $47 each and the bus was $91 for a luxury bus ride that picked up at Nats Park. Food and adult beverages were extra. Final count was 35 on the bus as almost 100 group members had their own transportation.

Half Street

Some thought that there were thousands of Nats fans in attendance last night and 125 were part of Half Street Irregular’s group. Many got together pregame at the McFadden’s in the ballpark.

Don’t think the planning for these events are easy as Lisa and Jen started planning this back in April even before they knew that ESPN would make this the Sunday Night Game.

Jen  first suggested the idea in April because it was her 40th birthday weekend and she wanted to share a game at CitiField with friends. After the 7 Line Army “invasions” of Nats Park in May, the idea was floated to return the favor, but in a nice way. Trip planning started  in late June/early July with the goal of having a group of good fans up there to cheer on our team.

This was Lisa H.’s (@LisaHarter) experience yesterday:

Forty-plus thirty five devout Nats fans met at Nats park on Sunday morning, greeted by Screech, Thomas Jefferson and several Nats staff members. Screech and Tom raced to meet us as we walked up with goodie bags, filled with peanuts, Cracker Jack and Curly W koozies. Threats of Hurricane Hermine had us concerned as late as yesterday but the forecast today looks perfect for a Curly W, clear and beautiful!

We’re well fed and watered with an over-abundance of cookies and mimosas. A variety of movies entertained us, starting with the video of the Nationals first year. Bull Durham and Money Ball followed, ushering us into New York City.

Upon arrival to Citi Field we descended upon McFaddens and were ushered into a separate room…away from all the Mets fans, though there were a number of us and it was the only place that could house us all! Several dozen more Nats fans joined us, those who came to New York on their own.

We had two hours to kill before game time and many of us went to the Jackie Robinson Rotunda and watched batting practice, exploring Citi Field.

When we got to our seats we began loudly cheering our Nats and shortly before the game started we learned from friends and social media that ESPN had filmed us and called us out. Later, one of their videographers came to our section to film the group, including the signs. Our red, raucous crowd did our best to remind our Nats that we were there in force to support them.

The game did not produce the outcome we wanted, no Curly W, but it was wonderful to meet so many engaged and serious Nats fans! Many thanks to the Half Street Irregulars and Lisa R. for arranging this very fun event!

This was Kayleigh J.’s (@NatsTeacher) experience yesterday:

On a Sunday Morning, 35 Nationals Fans met at Nats Park and were greeted by many Nationals employees. There was no game at the park that day, but still the employees, accompanied by Screech and racing president, Thomas Jefferson, were there to greet us with goodie bags and well wishes. After taking photos and meeting new faces, we boarded the bus and headed for New York. Once we had our roll call to make sure everyone was accounted for, the bottles of champagne, orange juice, and sangria were popped.  As we began our trip to watch our beloved Nationals take on the New York Mets, we got to watch a movie from the inaugural season of our team. People on the bus shared memories of their Nationals fandom, favorite games, and their snacks. As we continued down the road, Bull Durham and Money Ball played as new friendships were formed.

As we got closer to the park, the focus seemed to shift from the movies to the many photo opportunities such as The Statue of Liberty and, of course, CitiField. As we pulled into the parking lot and proceeded off of the bus, we quickly made our way into McFadden’s. McFadden’s staff joked with us about letting Nationals fans in before escorting us to a room that easily fit the 40+ bus travelers and several other Nationals fans who had already made the trip. With only a half an hour to gates open some, including myself, only decided to have one drink so that they could catch batting practice and explore Citi Field.

After entering the park and making our way up to the concourse, the food choices at first seemed quite similar to those at Nationals Park. They had Shake Shack, but no cold only line, Blue Smoke and Box Frites. All these places were directly behind our section and made for easy access throughout the game. After a little wandering and talking to a few nice Mets fans to see where to go, I decided on Catch of the Day which had a lot of seafood options that were quite filling. Once I grabbed food and a drink, I returned back to our section, where many Nationals fans were already watching and cheering for our boys during their Batting Practice. Blake Treinen was generous with throwing balls up to our section, so many of us got to walk away with souvenirs.   By game time, we had already appeared on ESPN several times according to various tweets and texts several of us received from family, friends and fellow Nats fans that were watching the game elsewhere and even got a shout-out from Nats reporter Chelsea Janes.

As the game continued, we cheered and chanted for our boys, even recreating Wilson’s walk-up. Although the game was quite one-sided score wise, you wouldn’t be able to tell by the positive cheers of the 100+ Nats fans that took over the Seven Line Army’s beloved section. Also throughout the game, we got nods and waves from several in the bullpen, as well as, Bryce, Trea, and even J-Dub.

As the game ended and we slowly made our way back to the bus, you could tell that though there was an L for us on the score board, the group’s energy was still positive with many of us cracking jokes and keeping our heads held high. The ride home was quiet. We watched the final scenes of Money Ball before putting on The Sandlot, which was turned off after we switched drivers so that people could sleep. While the game didn’t give us the Curly W we hoped for, the bus ride, the opportunity to meet fellow Die-hards, and the countless memories and laughs shared made the trip priceless.

Thanks to Lisa R., Jen U. and the amazing Half Street Irregulars for arranging such a great trip.

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