2011 Father's Day weekend at the O's vs. Nats (June 18 & 19)

June 18 & 19, 2011: What's better than a baseball game on Father's Day? Spending the Father’s Day weekend with your daughter at the ballpark. 
Sofia and I spent Saturday and Sunday (mom joined us for the Father's Day game) at Nats Park to watch the Beltway Series. We had hoped to see the Nationals sweep the Orioles, but rather saw them split the games we attended. 

As a father it is amazing to watch your daughter grow up. Sofia's happy attitude is contagious, but with the good comes the challenges. The Nationals are known for their challenges, but this season they have experienced some success. They have kept their record at nearly .500, something they have not done this late into the season since their inaugural season, and we hoped to see them reach .500 in the two games we attended.

During Saturday's game the Orioles took an early lead with Adam Jones' homer in the 1st inning, but the Nationals’ recently returned Ryan Zimmerman responded by tying the game with a homer of his own later that inning. From there the Nats took the lead and took the second game of the series with a 4-2 win.

Sunday, Father's Day, the Nationals had a chance to reach .500. We arrived at the ballpark as Sofia snoozed in her stroller. We had hoped this would be a much-needed nap and would result in her being in a good mood for the game.
As Sofia napped we snuck in a few photo ops with the Racing President (George, Tom, Abe and the lovable Teddy), something that would never have occurred with her awake, she's scared of them and who can blame her for being scared of a politician.

Like yesterday the Orioles took a quick lead in the second inning as a result of yesterday's Player of the Game, Ryan Zimmerman, error. Seems his being out for most of the early season has finally caught up with him. I would like to believe that the O's early lead upset Sofia. She was suddenly in a foul mood and mom hoped that food would help calm her down. As mom went to get some hot dogs, I struggled to sooth Sofia. We sat above the O's bullpen and maybe this was Sofia's way of communicating her discontent at the Orioles lead, but O's pitcher Koji Uehara wanted to help me out. As one father to another, Koji tossed a ball up to us, but not even this act of kindness could help. Sofia rejected the ball, but it didn't go to waste, we gave it to the father sitting next to us who gave it to his son and told him it was the first ball he had ever caught at a ballpark.

As a blessing from the sky, it began to rain. The rain washed the tears off Sofia’s face as I quickly pulled out our umbrella. Sofia smiled, reached for the umbrella’s handle and twirled it like Mary Poppins. The rain stopped and mom returned with lunch. Sofia's attitude had changed. She entertained the fans around us and danced with dad to "Boogey Shoes" that landed her on the jumbo-tron. 

Although I write about my challenging moment with Sofia at the game, but my Father’s Day at Nationals Park with my family was certainly the highlight of the day. As for the Nationals, they may have lost the game to the Orioles 4-7, but they took two out of the three games of the Beltway Series.

For more info check out http://www.30ballparksandababy.com/

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