By C. Todd Lopez
WASHINGTON (Jan. 27, 2020) -- The Washington Nationals, winners of baseball's 2019 World Series, brought the Major League Baseball Commissioner's Trophy to the Pentagon so baseball fans inside the U.S. defense headquarters could get their pictures taken with it.
Hundreds of fans lined the A-ring of the Pentagon today, waiting to take their turn in front of the trophy. While they waited, Nationals mascot "Screech" gave high-fives to excited fans.
"We are just so proud of our Washington Nationals and their big accomplishment in winning the World Series," said Kimberley Joiner, the deputy assistant to the secretary of defense for strategic engagement. "This is an opportunity for people who work in the Pentagon every day to get out of their offices and enjoy the joy the Nationals have brought to our community."
Gregory M. McCarthy, the senior vice president for community relations with the Nationals, said the Pentagon is just the latest military-related stop for the trophy.
"This trophy is a very special thing that says a lot about American history and American culture," McCarthy said. "The first visit outside our ballpark for this trophy was to the commander in chief himself. And the second visit was to Walter Reed [National Military Medical Center], where the trophy was visited by the men and women recuperating there."
McCarthy said the trophy has also been to Joint Base Bolling-Anacostia and the Navy Yard, both in Washington, as well as to Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland, and Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia. The trophy also went along on a USO tour to Poland and Romania.
"The Nationals have a long-standing connection to the military and the civilians that support them," McCarthy said. "We like to say this trophy was earned by the 25 guys on the field who dedicated their lives and training, but it belongs to our fans. It belongs to the military and the civilians that support them."
Army Sgt. 1st Class Dustin Hall, the garrison first sergeant at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, Virginia, was one of the hundreds in line to get a selfie with the trophy. He's only been in the Washington area for only a short time now and says he's not always been a Nationals fan.
"I live right next to the stadium," he said. "I've only been a Nats fan for a year. I'm originally a Pirates fan, but it's hard to cheer for the Pirates. My wife says we live right next to the stadium, so let's cheer for the home team. We made that switch last off- season."
While fans, both military and civilian at the Pentagon were grateful for the opportunity to see a bit of baseball history up close, McCarthy said he and the team are grateful for the fans.
"Thank you for all you do," he said. "This team has a great connection to the military and their families and the civilians that support them, and we are grateful for you being fans."