The Washington Nationals will host local LGBT fans for the 6th annual Night OUT on Tuesday, June 22 at 7:05 p.m.
Since 2005, Team DC has worked to create a night for the LGBT community to get together and cheer on the home team.
“It’s not just about visibility of our community,” said Brent Minor, president of Team DC.
Minor continued that Night OUT is a way to get people who normally don’t watch sports out with other members of the LGBT community.
In its first year, Night OUT brought more than 1,000 fans to RFK stadium.
“When we started the event, it was the first year the Nationals were in Washington,” said Minor. “We thought we’d only have about 300 people but we had 1,100.”
The event moved to Nationals Stadium along with the team and according to its website, Team DC is hoping to have 3,000 fans in attendance this year.
“We have over 2,300 people in our sections,” Minor said on Monday evening. “It’s already gonna top last year.
The Gay Men’s Chorus will start the night out as they have in past years singing the National Anthem. Council member Jim Graham will announce, “Play ball.”
DC Different Drummers will also be performing prior to the game on the Centerfield Plaza near the Night OUT seating as people come into the stadium.
“I think everybody is extremely excited,” said Zachary Parker, director of the Drummers. “It’s wonderful that [Team DC] is taking the initiative to include other GLBT organizations.”
The Drummers have been working with the Nationals entertainment organizers in preparation for this event. This will be their first appearance at Night OUT. Their performance will include some audience favorites from Pride.
“We’re all very honored,” said Parker.
Throwing out the ceremonial first pitch will be Revs. Darlene Garner and Candy Holmes, one of the first same-sex couples to get married in D.C.
“We are very excited to be part of Night OUT with the Nationals. We are delighted to support our team and to see a great game,” Garner and Holmes said in a statement to the Blade. “And mostly, we are honored to stand proudly as representatives of the entire proud LGBT community.”
Minor said the decision to invite Garner and Holmes was a way to recognize the legalization of same-sex marriage in Washington.
There will also be recognition of event organizers and distinguished members of the LGBT community on the field before the game starts.
On Sunday, Nellie’s Sports Bar will be hosting a Beer Bust from 6-8 p.m. to celebrate the upcoming game. Team DC will raffle off tickets to games later in the season.
Nellie’s will also be hosting the 10th Inning Post-Game Party starting as soon as the game ends. Nellie’s and the Washington Blade are official sponsors of the event.
As of Monday, the Nationals were last in the National League East with a 31-33 record, six games behind the division leaders, the Atlanta Braves. Their record at home was 18-12. They will face the Kansas City Royals on Tuesday.
The Nationals have recently become one of the most talked about teams with the addition of their new pitcher, Stephen Strasburg, who after only two starts, has already racked up 22 strike-outs, 19 of which came before his first career walk.
Strasburg was the first overall selection in the 2009 First-Year Player Draft. Debuting in the major leagues on June 8, he became the second player to strike out seven straight batters in an MLB debut, half of his strikeouts that night.
Fans in attendance for Night OUT can get tickets for one of three areas, the scoreboard pavilion, outfield reserved and right field mezzanine. Tuesday is also T-shirt Tuesday at the stadium and the first 10,000 fans will receive a free shirt. Visit nationals.com/nightout to purchase tickets.