The Nationals celebrated their first World Series win with those who served the country on Friday, bringing the Commissioner’s Trophy to veterans at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland.
Nationals managing principal owner Mark D. Lerner and first baseman Ryan Zimmerman spent time with veterans working on their physical therapy, chatting with military families, showing the trophy and taking photos.
“I think Walter Reed is a very special place,” said Zimmerman. “To meet the people here that basically are the true heroes — everyone says we’re heroes, but we play baseball for a living.
“These men and women do things that are way more important than what we do, so to be able to come by here, chat with them, give them a break from the daily grind that they go through everyday, you know, it’s a pleasure and it’s an honor.”
Lerner was excited to visit Walter Reed and said that working with the military is one of the best things that the team does as an organization.
“These folks just do incredible work for our soldiers. … It has a special place in my heart and my wife Judy’s heart and my family, and I just wanted it to be the first place that we brought it after we brought it home,” Lerner said.
Col. Andrew Barr, director of Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, was grateful that Lerner and Zimmerman took the time not only to share their success but also to thank the staff at the medical center for their service.
“What a great run for the team. And to be able to bring the World Series championship home to Washington is just fantastic,” Barr said.
“We have such a team of dedicated professionals here that’s focused on safe, high quality care of our nation’s warriors and their families and to know that we have the support of Mr. Lerner and Ryan to be able to spend their time to come by here and just thank our team first of all and to provide a wonderful opportunity to build morale here is just absolutely fantastic.”