A fan takes a selfie with the Washington Nationals' Teddy Roosevelt mascot inside Nationals Park in southeast D.C. prior to the team's 2018 home opener against the New York Mets on April 5. (John E. De Freitas/The Washington Informer)

Markus Jackson considers every Washington Nationals home opener “a national holiday.”

The 32-year-old Dumfries, Virginia, native proudly walked inside Nationals Park on Thursday decked out in full Nationals paraphernalia — white jersey, red socks, baseball cap, eye black stickers and a red, white and blue blanket. He even brought a stuffed camel dressed in Nats gear.

“The camel is to get over the hump of the first round [in the National League playoffs],” Jackson said. “I’ve been to a couple of Game Five divisional series here, so I hope this is our year.”

Markus Jackson of Dumfries, Virginia, stands outside Nationals Park in southeast D.C. before the Washington Nationals’ 2018 home opener against the New York Mets on April 5. (William J. Ford/The Washington Informer)

He joined the thousands of Nationals fans excited for the team’s home opener against the New York Mets in southeast D.C. All who walked through the entrance received a red Nationals T-shirt that outlines every home game.

It doesn’t matter to Cynthia Blagmon who the Nationals play, what the weather’s like or how long it takes for a game to end.

She’s even kept tabs on the contract situation of Bryce Harper, who’s slated to become a free agent after this season. According to various reports, the 25-year-old left-handed slugger could receive the richest contract in MLB history.

“He’s one of my favorite players,” said Blagmon of Falls Church, Virginia. “If [the Nationals] want him that bad, pay the money.”

Besides fans getting to see Harper, Michael A. Taylor and the other players, fans who entered the ballpark through the left field gate bounced to tunes presented by DJ Flexx.

Baseball also offers the most affordable tickets in the country among the four major North American professional sports of football, basketball and hockey. According to Statisica.com, the average price for a Major League ticket in 2016 was $31.

Fortunately for Stacey Taylor of Upper Marlboro, Maryland, his wife and two sons, Tyree and Stacey Jr., he received tickets through his information technology job to sit in a club suite.

What made Thursday more special: Tyree, 12, didn’t know the family would come until they drove by Nationals Park.

“It’s pretty awesome,” Tyree said about attending his first professional baseball game. “I thank my dad for taking me out here.”

To view the full Nationals 2018 schedule, go to https://www.mlb.com/nationals/schedule.

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Coverage for the Washington Informer includes Prince George’s County government, school system and some state of Maryland government. Received an award in 2019 from the D.C. Chapter of the Society of...

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