On Wednesday, the Washington Nationals won a first World Series title for the District of Columbia since 1924. On Saturday, D.C. threw a party 95 years in the making.
Tens of thousands of red-and-white-clad fans lined the city’s version of the Canyon of Heroes for a parade along Constitution Avenue and a rally a few blocks from the Capitol.
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“[There’s] nothing but red and white colors flooding all of downtown D.C., within the parade and surrounding it,” lifelong Nationals fan Nate Addlestone told Fox News.
The happy feeling transcended generations. Nationals manager Dave Martinez and general manager Mike Rizzo were seen posing with Sidney Walton, a 100-year-old fan who finally got to see his team win the World Series.
As “Baby Shark, doo doo doo doo doo doo” played on a crisp morning, early risers joined in with the trademark response — arms extended in a chomping motion. Backup outfielder Gerardo Parra chose the tune as his walk-up song in a parental tribute to the musical taste of his 2-year-old daughter. “Baby Shark” became a rallying cry that united Parra’s teammates and fans.
“I’ve met all these people today. I’ve got new friends,” said Kimberly Ballou of Silver Spring, Md.
“The energy and environment is incredible, everyone is hugging and dancing with each other,” said Addlestone, 37.. “What seems like hundreds of thousands of Nats fans have come together.”
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Fans waved red streamers, hand towels and signs that said “Fight Finished” as the players rode by on the open top of double-decker buses. Rizzo, a cigar in his mouth, jumped off with the World Series trophy to show the fans lining the barricades and slap high-fives.
“I just wish they could have won in DC,” said Ronald Saunders of Washington, who came with a Little League team that was marching in the parade.
“We know what this title means to DC, a true baseball town, from the Senators to the Grays and now the Nationals,” Mayor Muriel Bowser said at the rally. “By finishing the fight you have brought a tremendous amount of joy to our town and inspired a new generation of players and Nationals fans.”
Bowser added: “We are deeply proud of you and I think we should do it again next year. What do you think?” Then she started a chant of “Back to back! Back to back!”
Next up for the Nationals is a scheduled visit to the White House on Monday. However, reliever Sean Doolittle has already said he will not attend.
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“There’s a lot of things, policies that I disagree with, but at the end of the day, it has more to do with the divisive rhetoric and the enabling of conspiracy theories and widening the divide in this country,” Doolittle told The Washington Post.
The president attended Game 5 in Washington and was greeted with loud boos when he was shown on the giant video screen during a tribute to veterans. The boos more than overwhelmed a scattering of cheers.
Delores Smith of Washington, a longtime baseball fan who said she had an uncle who pitched in the Negro Leagues, said the World Series was “a big win” for the city. “This is the first time in a long time that I’ve seen the whole city come together. There’s no fussing about Trump.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.