The Nationals got their start north of the border, joining the National League as the Montreal Expos in 1969. The Expos’ first season was especially trying for the young organization, as the team won just 52 games compared to 110 losses. It was a full decade before Montreal posted their first winning season in 1979. In 1981 the Expos go their first taste of postseason baseball after winning 60 games in a strike-shortened season. Led by Andre Dawson and a young Tim Raines, the Expos knocked off the Philadelphia Phillies in the National League Division Series before falling to the Los Angeles Dodgers before reaching the World Series. Despite an abundance of talent coming through Montreal in the forms of Moises Alou, Pedro Martinez and Vladimir Guerrero, the Expos never did return to the postseason. In 2005 the franchise relocated to the United States, setting up shop in Washington, D.C. as the Nationals. The relocation did nothing to jump start the franchise however. After an 81-81 record in 2005, Washington won no more than 73 games in any of the next five seasons. In 2012 the Nationals finally returned to the postseason, winning the NL East behind outfield phenom Bryce Harper and a strong pitching staff, but fell to the St. Louis Cardinals in the NLDS. The Nationals have retired the numbers of four players in the franchise’s history. Score with TicketCity - the place to go for Washington Nationals baseball tickets.
2014 Nationals Season Preview
The Washington Nationals did not live up to expectations in the 2013 season, but the pieces are all in place for a run in the capital city in 2014. With a solid rotation including the likes Stephen Strasberg, Gio Gonzalez and Jordan Zimmerman – as well as the new addition of Doug Fister from Detroit – the Nats will likely challenge the Braves for the division title. The offense, led by young phenom Bryce Harper in left field, is fiery and talented. Wilson Ramos, Ian Desmond and Ryan Zimmerman are amongst the best at their positions in the National League, and they’ll look to build upon the 86-76 season they had in 2013.
The Nationals will have to contend with a good Braves team, as well as a few other teams that will undoubtedly be better in 2014 in the NL East. They look to be the favorites in Vegas for the division title, but there’s 162 games left to try to prove it themselves.
Check out our Washington Nationals Season Preview History page for previews of previous Nationals seasons.
Washington Nationals Baseball at Nationals Park Address: 1500 South Capitol St SE, Washington, DC 20003
The Nationals play their home games at Nationals Park, located in Washington, D.C. When filled to capacity, Nationals Park holds more than 41,000 screaming fans. Situated right in our nation’s capital, Nationals Park is an aesthetically beautiful sight. While at the game get geared up for the President’s race, where George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, and William Howard Taft race around the outfield for the glory of the fans. The Washington Nationals dugout is on the Nationals Park first base line in front of sections 127-131. Nationals Park parking information is covered in our Nationals event guide.
Nationals vs. Orioles
When the Expos moved to Washington in 2005 to become the Nationals, the new club was in need of some new rivals. They found one immediately in the Baltimore Orioles. The Orioles resisted the move to Washington due to the proximity of the two cities, and this tension carried over to the field in 2006 when the clubs began an annual inter-league series. The rivalry has become known as the Beltway Series and is one of the better inter-league matchups on the East Coast.
Nationals vs. Braves
The Nationals-Braves rivalry dates back to 1994 when the Braves joined the NL East (the Nationals were still the Expos at that time). But the current iteration of the rivalry has really gained steam over the last half decade. The Nationals have built one of the best clubs in baseball, in a division that the Braves have dominated for the last 20 years. Recently these two clubs have risen above the rest of the division, and promise to provide some of the most intense divisional games in the National League.
Nationals vs. Marlins
Despite being one of the founding members of the NL East as the Expos, the Nationals became the new kids on the block in the division when they moved to D.C., a title previously held by the Marlins who joined in 1993. The Nationals and Marlins both struggled through the middle of the 2000’s, which led to many competitive games between these clubs. The Nationals have since become an elite team in the NL. However, once the Marlins young talent starts producing, look for this series to gain momentum.
Washington Nationals in the World Series, National League Championship Series and MLB Playoffs
The Washington Nationals became a franchise after the Montreal Expos relocated to the nation’s capital in 2005. The Nationals won their first division title in 2012, but they are still searching for their first NL pennant and World Series title. The Nationals will only continue to build off the recent success they have had in the upcoming seasons.
Washington Nationals Event Guide
What time do the gates open prior to a Nationals game?
The centerfield gate opens 2 and a half hours before the first pitch at all home games. All other gates open 90 minutes before the start of the game.
Where are good places to eat before a Nationals game?
Located in Southwest Washington, Nationals Park is close to many of D.C.’s best dining options. If you are looking to spend pre-game at a sports bar try Board Room, Grand Slam Sports Bar, or Redline. For a quick bite to eat before the game, try one of the many great food trucks in the area. Carnivore BBQ, Far East Taco Grille, and Pho Junkies are three of the best. If you are looking for a fine dining experience with a unique atmosphere, try Seasonal Pantry. Barbeque fans should try the Caribbean style barbeque at Jammin Island BBQ. You will not be disappointed. Other great places in the area are Maine Avenue Fish Market, Stachowski Market & Deli, and Carving Room.
Where is the best place to park at Nationals Park?
Parking at Nationals Park is a little bit cramped. The most convenient parking options are on the South side of N Street at Lots B, C, and F. These parking spots are usually between $42-$45. A little farther away are Lots H, K, L, and P, which are located west of Half Street on the north side of M Street. A third parking area is also located north of M Street on the east side of 2nd Street. If you are not afraid of a little walk try Lot W which is located at the intersection of M and 7th.
Does my child need a ticket to attend the game?
Children under the age of 2 years old do not require a ticket to enter Nationals Park. It is recommended that you bring proof of your child’s age with you to the gate to ensure they are allowed to enter the stadium.
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Awesome Game and Overall Experience The game was last week at Nationals Park. The stadium is enormous and beautiful. I enjoyed the atmosphere of the friendly workers and the fans sitting around me. The seats I had were comfortable and had a great sightline. I totally recommend going to a Nationals game and sitting in the outfield above the Nationals bullpen! April 29, 2012
Terrific game for a pre-season. Would like to have seen some of the bigger name players but that I know that typically doesn't happen. April 2, 2013