As All-Star Week opens, FanFest gives DC a closeup look at the game

WASHINGTON — Buildup for Tuesday’s All-Star Game at Nationals Park is intensifying, with the All-Star FanFest now open at D.C.’s Walter E. Washington Convention Center.

“Is this awesome or what? I can’t believe the size of this,” said Nationals owner Mark Lerner during the opening ceremonies Friday. Lerner added that he had been pressuring Major League Baseball to bring an All-Star Game to Washington since the team came into existence.

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser presented a proclamation declaring this All-Star Week in Washington.

The event, which runs through Tuesday, offers fans a chance to get autographs from players and get their picture taken with the World Series trophy. There are indoor baseball diamonds for kids, as well as batting cages and virtual reality baseball experiences.  A Hall of Fame exhibit features 150 items from Cooperstown.

Single-day tickets are $35 for adults and $30 for children 12 and under. Children under 2 are free. Tickets are discounted for those over 65, college students, and members of the military.

See photos of some of the attractions and artifacts:

"We really don't bring stuff out from Cooperstown much,” said Erik Strohl, vice president of exhibitions and collections at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. “... This is the only event pretty much every year where we bring Cooperstown to the people." (WTOP/John Aaron)
“We really don’t bring stuff out from Cooperstown much,” said Erik Strohl, vice president of exhibitions and collections at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. “… This is the only event pretty much every year where we bring Cooperstown to the people.” (WTOP/John Aaron) (WTOP/John Aaron)
Buildup for Tuesday’s All-Star Game at Nationals Park is intensifying, with the All-Star FanFest now open at D.C.’s Walter E. Washington Convention Center. (WTOP/John Aaron) (WTOP/John Aaron)
"Up until 1865, you could catch a fly ball on a bounce, and that was an out," said Erik Strohl, vice president of exhibitions and collections at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. This bat dates back to 1867: "It was only two years into the rule where you had to catch a ball on the fly and in fair territory to make it an out," Strohl said. 
As for Walter Johnson’s glove, "It’s just one piece of leather connecting the thumb and forefinger. You still don’t have the fingers at all linked together yet ... that doesn’t come until about World War II," Strohl said. "If you put that on a modern player they would be shocked I think. You can understand where the phrase 'use two hands' came from. You really needed to use two hands to catch back then.”
(WTOP/John Aaron)
“Up until 1865, you could catch a fly ball on a bounce, and that was an out,” said Erik Strohl, vice president of exhibitions and collections at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. This bat dates back to 1867: “It was only two years into the rule where you had to catch a ball on the fly and in fair territory to make it an out,” Strohl said. As for Walter Johnson’s glove, “It’s just one piece of leather connecting the thumb and forefinger. You still don’t have the fingers at all linked together yet … that doesn’t come until about World War II,” Strohl said. “If you put that on a modern player they would be shocked I think. You can understand where the phrase ‘use two hands’ came from. You really needed to use two hands to catch back then.” (WTOP/John Aaron) (WTOP/John Aaron)
There are indoor baseball diamonds for kids, as well as batting cages and virtual reality baseball experiences. (WTOP/John Aaron)
There are indoor baseball diamonds for kids, as well as batting cages and virtual reality baseball experiences. (WTOP/John Aaron) (WTOP/John Aaron)
Buildup for Tuesday’s All-Star Game at Nationals Park is intensifying, with the All-Star FanFest now open at D.C.’s Walter E. Washington Convention Center. (WTOP/John Aaron) (WTOP/John Aaron)
“This is one of the highlights that we brought to the exhibit,” Strohl said. “That’s a real piece of Babe Ruth lumber that we brought.” He guessed it was worth six figures. (WTOP/John Aaron) (WTOP/John Aaron)
There are indoor baseball diamonds for kids, as well as batting cages and virtual reality baseball experiences. (WTOP/John Aaron)
There are indoor baseball diamonds for kids, as well as batting cages and virtual reality baseball experiences. (WTOP/John Aaron) (WTOP/John Aaron)
 There are indoor baseball diamonds for kids, as well as batting cages and virtual reality baseball experiences. (WTOP/John Aaron)
There are indoor baseball diamonds for kids, as well as batting cages and virtual reality baseball experiences. (WTOP/John Aaron) (WTOP/John Aaron)
(1/8)
"We really don't bring stuff out from Cooperstown much,” said Erik Strohl, vice president of exhibitions and collections at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. “... This is the only event pretty much every year where we bring Cooperstown to the people." (WTOP/John Aaron)
"Up until 1865, you could catch a fly ball on a bounce, and that was an out," said Erik Strohl, vice president of exhibitions and collections at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. This bat dates back to 1867: "It was only two years into the rule where you had to catch a ball on the fly and in fair territory to make it an out," Strohl said. 
As for Walter Johnson’s glove, "It’s just one piece of leather connecting the thumb and forefinger. You still don’t have the fingers at all linked together yet ... that doesn’t come until about World War II," Strohl said. "If you put that on a modern player they would be shocked I think. You can understand where the phrase 'use two hands' came from. You really needed to use two hands to catch back then.”
(WTOP/John Aaron)
There are indoor baseball diamonds for kids, as well as batting cages and virtual reality baseball experiences. (WTOP/John Aaron)
There are indoor baseball diamonds for kids, as well as batting cages and virtual reality baseball experiences. (WTOP/John Aaron)
 There are indoor baseball diamonds for kids, as well as batting cages and virtual reality baseball experiences. (WTOP/John Aaron)


Like WTOP on Facebook and follow @WTOP on Twitter to engage in conversation about this article and others.

© 2018 WTOP. All Rights Reserved. This website is not intended for users located within the European Economic Area.

More from WTOP

Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up