World Series Champs: Making the District Proud

DC can proudly claim to be the nation’s Sports Capital. The District is home to two national champion teams—the Mystics and the Nats—coming close on the heels of last year’s Capital’s Stanley Cup win.

We want to give a shout out and congratulations to the three FC2 Trustees who work for the Nationals organization. Robert Tanenbaum is a Principal Owner and Vice Chairman of the Washington Nations. Gregory McCarthy is the Nat’s current Senior VP for Community Engagement and separately is also the President of the Board of Trustees of the DC Public Library. Tal Alter is the CEO of the Washington Nationals Foundation and the Youth Baseball Academy.

Gregory was fighting for the Nats before the Nats even existed. In 2003, Mayor Williams tasked Gregory with spearheading the effort to bring baseball back to DC. It wasn’t all smooth sailing. The District was coming out of the Control Board era and many were skeptical that it could not sustain a team or build a stadium in time. It was actually denied the franchise the first go-round in 2003. But Gregory says Tony never gave up.

”It takes real leaders to do big things, and big things are never easy,” Gregory says. “We need to support elected leaders when they step up and do hard things. That’s why we got baseball.” An incredible amount of economic activity has been generated for the District by the team and by the stadium. The Navy Yard neighborhood has been transformed from what used to be mostly empty industrial sites. It’s hard to find anyone who now says it wasn’t worth the fight.

“Most importantly,” Gregory emphasizes, “baseball has brought us all together across the region.” We cheered together and now we celebrate together. Plus we can all be proud of the values this Nats team represents. Early in the season, they were close to the bottom of their division. But through determination, teamwork and camaraderie, they came back to win the World Series. They themselves never gave up and they finished the fight. The fans, local businesses and elected officials stood with them.

“The Nats Foundation,” Tal Alter says, “is using the team’s brand and ability to inspire as a vehicle to make Washington, DC a better place.” The baseball academy near Fort Dupont serves 15,000 young people each year. The Foundation continues to support local nonprofits, renovate baseball fields and run summer baseball camps. But it also has more ambitious plans to do more—for example, in helping to find creative ways for local residents to benefit more from local economic growth. And the Foundation is exploring new ways to force multiply in fundraising and giving, with players pledging to match money raised by fans or linking up with other corporate sponsors to do joint philanthropic campaigns.

For those who want to keep the celebration going, please join Mayor Bowser and fellow Nats fans at the Nationals World Series Parade on Saturday, November 2nd at 2 pm along Constitution Ave NW.