Nationals fans swoon over memorabilia sale

Fans peruse the Washington Nationals memorabilia for sale outside Nationals Park on Saturday, Nov. 12, 2022. (WTOP/Dick Uliano)
Bats and hats for sale outside Nationals Park Saturday, Nov. 12, 2022. (WTOP/Dick Uliano)
Nats fans check out racks of jerseys on a sidewalk outside of Nationals Park Saturday, Nov. 12, 2022. (WTOP/Dick Uliano)
Jonathan Salant of Rockville shows the dugout line up card he bought at Nationals Park Saturday, Nov. 12, 2022. (WTOP/Dick Uliano)
Terry O’Dowd of Falls Church with his purchase last including signed caps Saturday, Nov. 12, 2022. (WTOP/Dick Uliano)

On a sunny November Saturday that felt like baseball weather, Washington Nationals fans swarmed a sidewalk sale of authenticated, signed team memorabilia just outside Nationals Park.

Fans browsed among the players’ signed bats, jerseys, hats and plenty of other one-of-a-kind memorabilia for sale.

“We have home plates from opening day 2008 at Nationals Park. We had some Champagne bottles authenticated from the locker room during the World Series 2019 win,” said Kelly Decerbo, senior director of marketing for the Washington Nationals Philanthropies, the charitable wing of the team. Some of the sale proceeds were directed to the charity.

The collectibles ranged in price from $5 to $10 for signed photo prints and baseball cards to the big ticket items of $1000 or more.

“I found a signed Sports Illustrated with Strasburg on the cover for $25. You can’t beat that,” said Roy Blumenfeld, a D.C. resident at the sale.

Another fan paid $100 for a multimedia tribute plaque to Ryan Zimmerman, who played his entire 16-year major league baseball career in Washington.

“It’s his stats, it’s got infield dirt, which is authenticated, it’s got a Nat’s coin, interesting piece,” said Terry O’Dowd of Falls Church. “Can’t pass it up.”

The items sold bear MLB authenticating holograms.

“You can check the authenticity with the app MLB Authentics and it will tell you who signed it and when,” O’Dowd said.

Though the past season brought disappointment for Nats fans, they haven’t forgotten better years.

“We’re still in the glory and glow of 2019 when the Nationals won the World Series and brought the community together like nothing else does,” Nats fan Jonathan Salant said.

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Dick Uliano

Whether anchoring the news inside the Glass-Enclosed Nerve Center or reporting from the scene in Maryland, Virginia or the District, Dick Uliano is always looking for the stories that really impact people's lives.

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