The Washington Nationals’ first hit and run came from shortstop Cristian Guzman, who had played in only 46 games the previous two seasons due to injuries. Their first RBI came from first baseman Nick Johnson, who did not play at all in 2007 while recovering from a fractured right femur.
Guzman and Johnson were Greensboro Bats teammates back in 1997 when they were farmhands for the New York Yankees playing at the old War Memorial Stadium on Yanceyville and Lindsey Streets.
Here’s the rest of the story on the Nats win over the Atlanta Braves:
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Two framed color photographs hang on a wall leading into the Nationals’ clubhouse. Both capture home-plate celebrations of walk-off home runs by Ryan Zimmerman.
The first was a two-run shot against the Yankees on Father’s Day 2006. The second was a three-run homer against the Marlins on Independence Day just a few weeks later.
So, when Zimmerman stepped to the plate with two outs in the ninth inning Sunday night â€” two outs in the ninth with the score tied in the inaugural game at Nationals Park â€” Dmitri Young had to smile.
The Nationals’ reserves had a pool going, trying to determine which of their teammates would be the first to hit a home run at the new park. Young made a veteran call, the proper call, the only call, really.
“I knew it was going to be him,” Young said. “My pick was the franchise, Ryan Zimmerman.”
Sure enough, Zimmerman delivered, hitting a rocket to center field off Braves reliever Peter Moylan to give the Nats a storybook 3-2 triumph that marked the official rebirth of the franchise.
*****Ryan Zimmerman was the only Nats player to shake hands with President George W. Bush, who threw out the first pitch at the game on Sunday night.*****
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