Major League Baseball returns to the Naval Academy
ANNAPOLIS, Md. (Tribune News Service) — After a 30-year absence, professional baseball is returning to Annapolis.
The Washington Nationals will play the Boston Red Sox in an exhibition game at the Naval Academy this spring. The April 1 game — which is not open to the public — is part of a three-year agreement the Nats will have one exhibition game at the academy until 2019, according to a news release. The team's opponents in 2018 and 2019 will be determined later.
Free tickets will be given to the academy's midshipmen and select Navy personnel. The game will be nationally televised on ESPN. The game will start at 2 p.m. at the academy's Terwilliger Brothers Field at Max Bishop Stadium.
"It will be an honor for our players and coaches to take part in these games at the Naval Academy, in front of the brave men and women who have committed to serve our country," Mark Lerner, principal owner and vice chairman of the Washington Nationals, said in the release.
Lerner added that one of the team's community platforms is to support the military. The Nationals host several military appreciation days and visit Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, according to the release.
The academy is excited about the partnership and to have the opportunity to be on a national stage, Superintendent Vice Admiral Ted Carter said in the release.
In 1987, the Houston Astros were the last MLB team to play an exhibition game at the Naval Academy, said Alex Lumb, assistant sports information director.
Between 1971-1987, the Navy hosted nine MLB exhibition games. The teams included the Baltimore Orioles, New York Yankees, Kansas City Royals, Boston Red Sox and Detroit Tigers.
The minor-league Bowie Baysox played a handful of games at the academy in 1994, because the winter was so severe that the team's ballpark, Prince George's Stadium, wasn't ready for opening day, according to milb.com
The Nationals will also host an exhibition game against the Red Sox on March 31 at Nationals Park. The game will start at 4:05 p.m. and tickets went on sale Feb. 9.
The team's first regular season home game is April 3 against the Miami Marlins.
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