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The Nationals’ Biggest Fan

The phone rang while I was working, and I was all set to ignore it and keep editing, but I noticed that the caller ID said “Washington National.”  It wasn’t clear if the call was from the baseball team or if it was another Washington institution (for instance, Washington National Airport or Washington National Theater), but I was sufficiently curious.

“Hello?” I answered.

“Hey, is this Melissa?”

“Who is this?” I asked suspiciously.

“My name is Chase Parker*, and I’m with the Washington Nationals.”

I straightened up in my chair and set my pen aside.  The Washington Nationals.  I love the Nationals.

“I saw that you attended some games last year.  Did you enjoy yourself?”

“Yes, we love going to games.”

“So tell me about how you go to games.  What’s your routine?”

“Well, we like to get to the stadium an hour ahead of time so we can give the kids lunch.  That way, we won’t have to get up much during the game.  Except for cotton candy.  Since, it’s… cotton candy.  Actually, you probably know me because I’m a superfan.”

“Sure,” Mr. Parker said.

I was delighted that my voice carried as far as I hoped my voice carried.  “Well, then you know that I like to shout out to my boys during the game.  My favourite is obviously Morse, but I scream for Espinoza and Ramos.  And, of course, Tyler Clippard.  Actually, I love all my boys.  I don’t really like to name favourites.  I mean, I’ll tell you that Morse is my favourite, but I love all my boys.  And I scream for them and call out advice and… well… I like to photograph the games.  I took a picture last summer of Ramos right as he hit that amazing home run against the Pirates in July.  I literally got the ball connecting with the bat.  But mostly I like to just freak out and cheer on my boys because they are such a great team.”

“Wow, you sound like you’re a great fan.”

“Actually, I’m a superfan.  I’m more dedicated than a regular fan.  I’m a superfan.”

“You sound like a superfan, Melissa.  Think you’re going to hit a few games this summer?”

“Of course.  My boys need me to cheer for them.  I mean, as a superfan, I feel like part of my job is to spread the love to everyone else in the stand.  Get them on their feet and screaming support for the team.  So, hells yeah, we’re going to a bunch of games.”

“Actually, I was also calling to speak to Josh.  Is he around?”

At this point, I was pissing myself because I assumed they wanted to speak to my husband to (1) thank him for having a wife who was a superfan, (2) ask us to move to special seats behind the dugout so I could converse with my boys while they were waiting to go to bat, and (3) have me sing the national anthem.  I took down Chase’s phone number and promised him that Josh would call him back that afternoon.

I called Josh at work and said, “Oh my G-d, oh my G-d, oh my G-d, the Nationals called us and they know I’m a superfan and they probably want me to give the boys pep talks between innings and I am totally certain that we’re going to start sitting in the dugout and you have got to call this guy Chase Parker back because he wants to talk to you immediately about something having to do with the Nationals.  I just spoke to him for over 20 minutes about the team.  He knows us!  He knows that I’m a superfan!”

“Melissa, I think he was calling with a sales pitch,” Josh told me.  I could hear the clicking of keys as he Googled the man’s name.  “Mel, he works in the sales office.”


“Like he wanted to sell you a subscription.  Which, you know, I’m all for buying.  Wait, you spoke to him for 20 minutes?”


“Instead of editing?  You never answer the phone, and you spoke to this man for 20 minutes?”

“Because I’m a superfan.  I’m such a superfan and love the boys so much that I even love their sales team.”


*Chase Parker’s name has been changed because I don’t want the guy to Google himself and find this story.  Since I’m still convinced that he wants me to sing the national anthem.



1 Mic @ IFCrossroads { 03.04.12 at 8:17 am }

I am laughing so hard I have tears streaming down my face. This is something I would do.
I hope they upgrade your seats just because 🙂

2 HereWeGoAJen { 03.04.12 at 8:20 am }

Nah, I think Josh is wrong. I mean, that guy might work in the sales office but the main office probably just asked him to call you. I mean, if he were selling stuff, why wouldn’t he have tried to sell them to you? He needed to talk to Josh to set up the surprise game where you throw out the first pitch.

3 Katie { 03.04.12 at 8:35 am }

Hahahaha! Oh Mel, I would have done the SAME thing if the Phillies had called me up!!! 🙂

4 tash { 03.04.12 at 9:03 am }

I may be the last remaining Pirates Superfan. I actually bought a t-shirt last year, which I’m sure marks me as certifiably insane. Given that it’s the Pirates, they should probably just let me play for the team, even if I do play soccer. I don’t think it would matter much.

5 Lindsay { 03.04.12 at 9:50 am }

Haha…that story was great, thanks for sharing. Maybe they will surprise you with something in the end. Husbands always try and ruin our excitement!!

6 jjiraffe { 03.04.12 at 4:14 pm }

Hahahaha! Love that story 🙂

7 a { 03.04.12 at 4:33 pm }

I bet that was the best and the weirdest call he had all day…

8 Queenie { 03.04.12 at 5:16 pm }

If you weren’t supposed to be editing, would you have talked to him for 20 minutes?

9 Lori Lavender Luz { 03.04.12 at 9:10 pm }

Jose can you see?

I was totally there with you. May I sing the counter melody? (First I’d have to make it up.)

10 Emily { 03.04.12 at 10:52 pm }

LOL just awesome!

11 ebc { 03.05.12 at 11:37 am }

cheer on! our nationals need all the superfans they can get! (we are too in the household…got a nats onesie all ready and washed for opening day!)

12 Amy Elaine { 03.06.12 at 4:35 pm }

I could care less about sports . . . but I absolutely love your enthusiasm. You are so funny and awesome.

13 Amy Elaine { 03.06.12 at 4:36 pm }

ah, that should have been “couldn’t care less”. carry on.

14 Neeroc { 03.19.12 at 10:00 pm }

Oh how I miss my Expos.

(c) 2006 Melissa S. Ford
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