Team DC and the Washington Nationals baseball team will host the 17th annual “Night OUT at the Nationals,” honoring the team’s extensive LGBTQ fanbase, during the Nats’ June 14 game against the Atlanta Braves at Nationals Park.
Part of the proceeds from ticket sales will benefit Team DC, the local umbrella organization for LGBTQ sports leagues in the District of Columbia, which seeks to raise awareness of, and encourage greater participation by, members of the LGBTQ community in organized sports. Five dollars from every ticket sold for that night’s game will go to Team DC, according to Team DC Executive Director Brent Minor.
“It’s like a great big party,” says Minor. “It’s like we in Nationals Park becomes the largest gay bar in the United States that night!”
The night starts when the park’s gates open at 6 p.m., kicking off with a pre-game celebration near the bars on the upper deck near the stadium’s scoreboard area. The game begins at 7:05 p.m.
The first pitch will be thrown by a northern Virginia high school baseball player, Paloma Benach, who is pursuing an athletic career in baseball – a rare career path for female athletes. Benach, who is also a Team DC scholarship recipient, will be using the attention from throwing out the first pitch to raise awareness for the growing number of female players getting into baseball, as compared to softball.
Following the pitch, the national anthem will be sung by the Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington.
MLB’s only out umpire, Dale Scott, will also be in attendance. Scott just wrote the book The Umpire Is Out, which describes his experiences being an openly gay person in Major League Baseball.
Admiral Rachel Levine, the assistant secretary for health in the Department of Health and Human Services and the first out transgender presidential appointee to be confirmed by the U.S. Senate, has also been invited by Team DC and is expected to appear at the event.
Fans who purchase a “Night OUT” ticket will receive a Nationals Pride-themed T-shirt. After the game, fans who show their tickets will receive a free beer at Dacha Beer Garden’s Navy Yard location, across the street from the ballpark.
While Night OUT emphasizes celebrating the LGBTQ community, the goal is to do much more, Minor explains.
“We seek to build community through all 43 [Team DC] member teams,” he says, adding that all LGBTQ people and allies are welcome to partake in “this great cross-section of our community.”
Team DC’s Night OUT at the Nationals event will be held on Tuesday, June 14 from 6-11 p.m. Tickets are available for purchase at Pitchers Bar DC, at 2317 18th St. NW, as well as online at https://www.mlb.com/nationals/tickets/specials/night-out.
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