There is no room for April Fools as today there is baseball to be played amid some pomp and circumstance for the U.S. Navy in the inaugural Naval Academy Baseball Classic which will feature the Washington Nationals for at least three years. The Washington Nationals and the Boston Red Sox will play an exhibition game today at 2:00 pm in Annapolis, Maryland at the Naval Academy’s Terwilliger Brothers Field at Max Bishop Stadium. The stadium has a capacity of approximately 1,500 between the 800 seats and standing-room only space and only members of the U.S. Navy and invited guests will have access to tickets for this game. All tickets for the game are complimentary, and this game will be televised on MASN and NESN as well as on the radio. Originally this was supposed to be a nationally broadcasted game on ESPN and two days ago it was announced that ESPN had given this game back to the respective team’s networks (MASN and NESN).
The Naval Academy’s Terwilliger Brothers Field at Max Bishop Stadium has a field surface constructed from an artificial turf and hopefully has good drainage after all the rain in the region yesterday that caused a cancellation of Friday’s exhibition game at Nationals Park between the Red Sox and Nationals. A home run does not have to go far as it is only 318 feet to the fence on the left-field line and 300 feet to right-field.
According to the Press Release, upon the team’s arrivals, the Nationals and Red Sox players and coaches will have a breakfast reception. This is a strictly choreographed event with an exchange of swords and bats. Yes, swords and bats. The Naval Academy will be presenting engraved swords to Nationals Manager Dusty Baker and Red Sox Manager John Farrell. In a return gesture, the Nationals and Red Sox will present engraved bats to Vice Admiral Walter E. “Ted” Carter, Jr., 62nd Superintendent of the United States Naval Academy, Colonel Stephen Liszewski, United States Marine Corps, 86th Commandant of Midshipmen of the United States Naval Academy, and Mr. Chet Gladchuk, Director of Athletics for the Naval Academy Athletic Association.
After the breakfast reception, team personnel will be given a tour of the Naval Academy. According to the Press Release, on the tour they will see air and ground military vehicles, indoor navigation training simulators, and the largest single dormitory in the world which is the home to the entire brigade of midshipmen. Team personnel will also visit the site of the honor roll of all Naval Academy graduates who have died as active members of the military.
The Naval Academy Baseball Classic pregame ceremony will include:
- Ceremonial first pitch thrown by The Honorable Sean J. Stackley, Acting Secretary of the Navy
- Our nation’s colors presented by the U.S. Naval Academy Color Guard
- National Anthem performed by the U.S. Naval Academy Men’s and Women’s Glee Club and Gospel Choir
- Flyover by the Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 22 “Sea Knights”
- Line-up card delivery by Vice Admiral Walter E. “Ted” Carter Jr., 62nd superintendent of the U.S. Naval Academy and the Honorable Ray Mabus, former Secretary of the Navy
- Starting Lineup Tunnel featuring U.S. Naval Academy midshipmen
- Game ball delivery by Midshipmen Captain of Captains, Sarita Condie, Captain of the U.S. Naval Academy’s Women’s Basketball Team
- Play Ball! announcement by Colonel Stephen Liszewski, U.S. Marine Corps, 86th Commandant of Midshipmen of the U.S. Naval Academy
And yes, there is a game to be played, and the Red Sox starter is left-handed Eduardo Rodriguez and the Nationals counter with Max Scherzer.
Your weather forecast for first-pitch at 2:00 PM is Partly Cloudy 56°F with winds from NNW at 14 mph.
Here is your Nats starting line-up:
- Trea Turner SS
- Daniel Murphy 2B
- Bryce Harper RF
- Ryan Zimmerman 1B
- Jayson Werth LF
- Adam Eaton CF
- Matt Wieters C
- Grant Green 3B
- Max Scherzer RHP
As aforementioned, the leftfield fence at the foul pole is only 318 feet from home plate and 304 feet to rightfield which is shorter than many High School fields. For the Red Sox, they are used to Pesky’s Pole which is 325 feet away.
Aerial helicopter photo by TalkNats staff photographer Sol Tucker: