In the Game of Baseball…You Win or You Die…

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The Iron Throne!

Okay..okay…that title is a little much. However, on Game of Thrones…long ago in the first season, Cersei Lannister tells Ned Stark “in the game of thrones, you win or you die…” and that only seemed fitting for a title. Ha-ha! Baseball isn’t quite so drastic as all that – but on Friday night, a little bit of Westeros descended on Nationals Park for Game of Thrones Night.

Early in the season, the MLB announced that nineteen of the thirty-two teams that make up the MLB would be hosting Game of Thrones Night at their respective parks and I immediately looked to the bottom of the list of parks participating; the Nationals…being located in Washington, are always the last team listed. Sure enough – there they were! I mentioned it to one of my friends who is also a die-hard Game of Thrones fan, we purchased tickets and just waited for June 23rd to roll around!

The view from our seats – in the shade; great views & a nice breeze!
Game of Thrones Night – June 23, 2017

Danielle and I had a bit of a journey making our way to the ballpark; we arrived later than expected and our decision to forego carrying purses and instead cramming the vital things into wallet style cell phone cases was rewarded. The lines pouring out of the entrances stretched almost all the way down the street to the Metro station…but the no bag line; it was only about seven people deep! We were through the line and being handed our t-shirts in no time! We considered ourselves lucky – the t-shirts were already running low; the line I came through only had larges, so I grabbed mine and kept on going, ha-ha!

Very cool shirt – I’ll wear it with pride!
The starting line up in their Game of Thrones best…

We found the line for the Iron Throne pretty quickly and thank goodness – when we hopped into the line; walking past a White Walker, Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen to get in place, the wait was just twenty-five minutes. We didn’t realize how glad we’d be that the wait was only twenty-five minutes until about five minutes in… A saying that abounds on Game of Thrones is “Winter is Coming” but the room we were waiting in to take our picture with the Iron Throne…I don’t know if Winter was ever coming there. 

Within the first five minutes of stepping in the line, I had sweat dripping down the sides of my forehead. I was sweating with the same intensity that an hour on the elliptical generates…and I was barely moving! As we got closer to the Iron Throne, the girl in line ahead of us whipped out her compact and started brushing up on her make-up and hair – but I was fairly certain after twenty minutes of sweltering heat…no amount of powder could fix my look. I just had to climb up on that throne, flash a grin and hope the picture(s) turned out alright…and then race for the exit and the breeze coming off the river!

It’s hard to tell – but there’s a dragon down there…it’s wee though…
Brian Goodwin starting the comeback with his first of two home runs.
There was a White Walker in Section 108!

I’ve never been so glad to find my seats at the ballpark as I was on Friday night. After the time spent sweating in the “throne room”, we made our way to the third level of seats, grabbed something to eat and grabbed our seats. We were in the shade and a breeze was coming off the river and so we began to cool down immediately! Once the game got underway – the first pitch was thrown out by the Mother of Dragons – it was actually really pleasant; a perfect night for baseball in the District! 

Musical cues and phrases from Game of Thrones were incorporated here and there throughout the game; when a Reds player struck out, the nun from season five could be heard intoning “shame..shame..shame..” which was hilarious! The hype videos were all clips from Game of Thrones interspersed with great plays and hits made throughout this season…with snow gently falling on each play; of course. After all…Winter is Coming. When Trea Turner stole second base, dragons soared across the screen and lit it up with fire; because…come on, when Trea runs…he’s on fire! The President’s Race even began with Teddy “holding the door”… is it too soon?

Hold the Door Teddy…
Sweaty but still having a blast!

The game started rocky for the Nationals – Stephen Strasburg (uncharacteristically) allowed four runs in the first inning alone and allowed the Reds to tack on another in third. However; the Red wouldn’t score again for the entire game and the Nationals fought back via the long ball all night. Brian Goodwin hit a one run home run in the first, Anthony Rendon hit a one run home run in the fourth, Daniel Murphy hit a one run home run in the fifth and Stephen Drew hit a sac fly to make the game 5-4. Brian Goodwin tied the game up 5-5 with his second one run home run of the night in the seventh and the bullpen miraculously held the game at 5-5 through the ninth inning; Bryce Harper hit a single in the bottom of the tenth that allowed Trea Turner to race home and win the game, 6-5!

The game was great; I loved seeing my Nationals fight for the win till the very end (and then some) and of course; getting a chance to sit on the Iron Throne…even if only for a few seconds..well that was very cool indeed.

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