DC Team’s “Night OUT at the Nationals” Set for June 14
Team DC and the Washington Nationals baseball team will host the 17th annual “Night OUT at the Nationals,” honoring the team’s vast LGBTQ fanbase, during the June 14 Nats’ game against the Atlanta Braves at Nationals Park.
A portion of 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 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 big party,” says Minor. “It’s as if Nationals Park became the biggest gay bar in the United States that night!”
The night begins when the park gates open at 6:00 p.m., beginning with a pre-game celebration near the bars on the upper deck near the stadium scoreboard area. The game starts at 7:05 p.m.
The first pitch will be thrown by a Northern Virginia 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 use the first pitch throwing attention to raise awareness of the growing number of female players getting into baseball, compared to softball.
After the pitch, the national anthem will be sung by the Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington.
MLB’s only umpire, Dale Scott, will also be in attendance. Scott just wrote the book The referee came out, who describes his experienceis an openly gay person in Major League Baseball.
Admiral Rachel Levine, the Assistant Secretary for Health of the Department of Health and Human Services and the first transgender presidential nomination to be confirmed by the U.S. Senate, was also invited by Team DC and is expected to appear at the event.
Fans who purchase a “Night OUT” ticket will receive a national pride-themed t-shirt. After the game, fans who show their tickets will receive a free beer at the Navy Yard at Dacha Beer Garden, across from the ballpark.
While Night OUT focuses on celebrating the LGBTQ community, the goal is to do so much more, says Minor.
“We seek to build community across the 43 [Team DC] team members,” he says, adding that all LGBTQ individuals and allies are welcome to participate in “this large sample of our community.
Team DC’s Night OUT event at the Nationals will take place on Tuesday, June 14 from 6-11 p.m. Tickets are available for purchase at Pitchers Bar DC, 2317 18th St. NW, as well as online at https://www.mlb.com/nationals/tickets/specials/night-out.