I had the opportunity to take my family to the Nationals Park for Faith Day on Saturday afternoon. We were really excited to go for many reasons, and the day could not have been better. Although we had been to many minor league games over the years, this was the first MLB game that we had attended. The weather was just perfect. Not too hot, low humidity and a nice breeze — the best weather we could have expected for a late-August afternoon watching baseball. When we arrived, we saw Natasha Smith and Mike Dickerson and were very pleased to know they would be performing after the game at the Faith Day event. I was so happy for them, and I could see it on their faces that they were looking forward to performing — they were smiling from ear-to-ear. The game was very entertaining. The Nationals were playing the New York Mets, and the crowd roared as the Nats took the field to begin the game. A great start to what would be a wonderful evening. It was nice to see the familiar faces of members of the Floris UMC congregation having a good time with friends and family members as the game continued inning to inning. I watched my daughter take it all in as she scanned the stadium while watching the game. One of her highlights was seeing the Presidents race around the field. As I sat there, I remembered years ago having the opportunity to throw out the first pitch at a minor league game in southwest Virginia. I held my then 2-year old daughter in one arm while I threw out the pitch. As I walked off of the mound I remember all of the players coming over to say hello to my little girl, and the catcher handed her the baseball I had thrown. As each player spoke to her she would giggle and laugh, which in turn, made many of them smile in response. Today as I watched my daughter at the game, I can still see that 2-year old laughing, but now in the face of my teenager. Lasting memories of a father and daughter at a ballpark.
At the end of the game, the scoreboard read Mets 4, Nats 9. It was now time to enjoy the “Faith Day” portion of the evening. As everyone gathered in sections 112-114, the program began with a video of a number of the players giving testimony, gladly telling how important their faith is in both their professional and personal lives. We then watched Natasha and Mike perform two beautiful songs, and Natasha gave a “shout out” to her friends from Floris UMC. They both did a great job, and it was obvious the people in attendance enjoyed the performance. The evening was filled with live testimony from the players, and it was nice to see both teams represented at the event. I was so glad we were able to attend this event, and we are already looking forward to Faith Day 2018.