June 22, 2011 | by Joey DiGuglielmo
Nationals win ‘Night Out’ game
Team DC at NIght Out at the Nationals

Pat Griffin, Daniel Hernandez, Amanda Simpson & Jonathan Capehart turned out for the annual Night Out at the Nationals on Tuesday. (Blade photos by Michael Key)

The Washington Nationals came from behind Tuesday night at a home game against the Seattle Mariners to win 6-5. The game was this year’s “Night Out at the Nationals” LGBT event, an annual Team D.C. fundraiser.

Team D.C. Program Director Brent Minor said the Nationals pulled off an “absolutely amazing finish.” They’d been down 5-1 early in the game.

“It’s kind of a subtle kind of activism,” Minor said. “When they see the Gay Men’s Chorus there and the community booth and lots of gay and lesbian couples walking around holding hands, they realize, ‘Hey, this is just a normal bunch of people having fun.’ That’s a good thing. Sometimes it’s good to be out in the street protesting but sometimes it’s good to just be out and open at the ballpark.”

Daniel Hernandez, the gay intern of U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords who was shot; John Berry, director of the Office of Personnel Management; and Amanda Simpson, the first openly trans presidential appointee, were also on hand to assist in the usual ceremonial hoopla. Hernandez, whom Minor called “a hero,” was invited into the owners’ box, a “Night Out” first.

This was the seventh “Night Out.” Team D.C. averages about $2 per ticket sold. As of Tuesday afternoon, 3,368 tickets had been sold. That’s down slightly from last year when about 3,543 attended. Light rain showers may have been a factor but Minor has another theory.

“‘Wicked’ is in town,” he said. “A few of our regulars may have gone to see that instead, as I know one group did.”

Israel Negron, director of community relations for the team, said this week that the Nationals are recording an “It Gets Better” video. It wasn’t ready for Night Out but will be shown in rotation at the park later this summer.

Joey DiGuglielmo is the Features Editor for the Washington Blade.

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