The Washington Nationals are still a young franchise, but there have already been countless memorable moments at Nationals Park.
When the Washington Nationals opened Nationals Park in the spring of 2008, no one in D.C., not even the Lerner family, could have foreseen the franchise’s current run of success. Since 2012, the Nationals have averaged nearly 93 wins per season, topped off with four division titles. But before the 2008 season, the foundation for this exceptional run was still in its infancy stage.
The architect of the operation, general manager Mike Rizzo, was still Jim Bowden’s assistant GM. Stephen Strasburg was entering his sophomore season at San Diego State and making the transition from reliever to starter. Max Scherzer was awaiting his first career start in Arizona. Bryce Harper was still just 15-years-old.
Of course some key pieces – Ryan Zimmerman, Jordan Zimmermann, Ian Desmond among others – were already a part of the organization, but they had yet to reach their peaks. In fact, the Nats were still approaching the depths of the rebuild – back-to-back 103-loss seasons in 2008 and ’09.
But since Nationals Park opened for business on the banks of the Anacostia River, Washington has developed into one of the preeminent organizations in the game. The Nats have to reach the pinnacle – or even an NLCS – but fans and players have still made countless memories along the way.
Here are the 10 best moments in the history of Nationals Park (honorable mention to the Werth 2B-Harper 3B-Zimmerman-HR start to Game 5 of the 2012 NLDS – the ending made that sequence simply too painful to include here).