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‘Nationals’ Officially Picked as Name for New D.C. Baseball Team

“Baseball is back, baby!” yelled Jim Bowden, the recently hired general manager of the newly christened Washington Nationals.

At a press conference in the Main Hall of Union Station earlier today, a group of city leaders and baseball officials unveiled the new name and logo of the team, formerly the Montreal Expos.

The District had a team named the Nationals once before — from 1901 to 1956 the team that would become known as the Senators were called the Washington Nationals. In 1957 the name was changed, and after the 1971 season the Senators moved to Texas and became the Rangers.

Flanked by former players and current team officials, Washington, D.C., Mayor Anthony Williams (D) unveiled the new team logo to a chorus of cheers. Not all are thrilled by the prospect of baseball returning to the city, however.

Before the press conference started, Adam Eidinger, who unsuccessfully campaigned for D.C.’s Shadow House Delegate seat with the Statehood Green party, commandeered the stage and grabbed on to the podium. Before the microphone was cut off, he was heard to say that “[t]his is a bad deal, people,” referring to the controversial public financing plan Williams is proposing to fund construction for a new stadium near the Anacostia River in Southeast.

After the protester was wrestled off the stage, former Senators announcer Charlie Brotman joked that the press conference that was about to begin had “nothing to do with a heavyweight fight coming later.” The team’s president, Tony Tavares, started his speech by joking that Brotman should be nominated the next head of the Homeland Security Department.

The conference proceeded uneventfully from there. Williams applauded the role of outgoing At-Large City Councilmember Harold Brazil and Ward 2 Councilmember Jack Evans in bringing baseball back to the city.

“Today is the first of many new memories that this team will create for baseball fans throughout the Washington area,” Williams said. “I’m looking forward to many more.”

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