Nationals vs. Cardinals: A historic day for D.C. area baseball fans

(Photo: John Gonzalez)

For long suffering Washington baseball fans, Wednesday was a wonderful day worthy of celebration.

The 79 year wait for playoff baseball here ended Wednesday and for Nora Frederick, she says she just had to skip work, witness history and root for her Nats.

“I used to come watch the Senators play as a child I was never an Orioles fan,” Frederick says. “I just waited for the Nationals to come and I've been a huge fan for the last eight years.”

For fans like D.C. resident Courtney Mazo, a chance to squeeze into sold-out Nats Park to wave a red rally flag and cheer the Nats was something she didn't want to miss.

“I'm very excited. This is the first time in 79 years this has happened,” Mazo says. “This is awesome. Hopefully this is something I can tell my kids about.”

For 5-year-old Avail Woodward, already a knowledgeable baseball fan, the day at the park will be one he'll remember forever. This is his first major league baseball game.

A tough commute

But the day wasn’t all smiles and good cheer.

Meet Greg Risett, LaDonna Curzon and Gary Edmonds. Their mission Wednesday was getting to and from the Nats game. But their mode of transport couldn't be any different.

Greg chose Metro for his trip from Falls Church.

“I gotta go back to work afterwards and I figured the highway would be a mess, and so I figured the metro would be a little bit better,” Risett says.

He and like-minded fans turned the Green Line into a sea of Red. Metro reported by 1 p.m. more than 10,000 fans had filed through the Navy Yard station.

LaDonna certainly took the most scenic route: The ferry from Alexandria to Nats park.

“It's cheaper to take this,” Curzon says. “Cause it's $40 down there and you have to drive, here I got popcorn, beer, nice scenery, you're good to go.”

Tickets for the two boats to the playoff game sold out in just hours, the fastest pace all year.

Those who decided to take to the roads had a little more help getting there. The Department of Transportation added dozens more workers to try to keep things moving.

It worked out for Gary who had a smooth drive in from Laurel, with an estimated 12,000 cars leaving Navy Yard during rush hour. His return trip could be a nightmare.

“If you're not a real fan and you can't handle the traffic don't come down here,” Edmonds says.