WASHINGTON (AP) — The Washington Nationals are getting a hero’s welcome home from a city that had been thirsting for a World Series championship for nearly a century.
Tens of thousands of fans are expected for a parade Saturday honoring the Nationals, who won a nail-biting, come-from-behind victory against the Houston Astros in Game 7 to clinch the World Series.
“When they tell you dreams come true, point them toward our @Nationals,” Mayor Muriel Bowser tweeted Thursday. “Tell them they do.”
She included the hashtag SportsCapital, a reference, too, to the Washington Capitals’ Stanley Cup championship in 2018 and the Washington Mystics’ WNBA championship this year.
“For the first time in 95 years, the #WorldSeries champions are from Washington, DC,” the Nationals tweeted after the Wednesday night win. Before the Nationals, the last Washington team to win a World Series was the Senators in 1924.
President Donald Trump has invited the Nationals to the White House on Monday, though relief pitcher Sean Doolittle doesn’t plan to attend. “There’s a lot of things, policies that I disagree with, but at the end of the day, it has more to do with the divisive rhetoric and the enabling of conspiracy theories and widening the divide in this country,” Doolittle told The Washington Post.
The president attended Game 5 of the series in Washington and was greeted with loud boos when he was shown on the giant video screen during a tribute to veterans. They more than overwhelmed a scattering of cheers.
In a capital city divided by politics, race and economics, the Nats were something of a unifier — at least for the time being — as partisans and nonpartisans alike openly congratulated one another on their team’s win. There were lines at the Post’s downtown office Thursday as fans sought to buy a copy of the day’s paper celebrating the win and a 12-page commemorative edition with a single-word headline blazoned across the top of the front page: CHAMPS!
Saturday’s parade was beginning on Constitution Avenue and then merging onto Pennsylvania Avenue for a rally just a few blocks from the Capitol.
When the Capitals won the Stanley Cup championship in 2018, it was estimated that hundreds of thousands of people lined the streets along the parade route to celebrate.
“Hey @Nationals – #WorldSeries Championship party at our house on Sunday night see you there,” the Capitals tweeted Friday.
The NHL team planned to honor the Nationals in a pregame ceremony before taking the ice against the Calgary Flames.
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