Book Review: 100 Things Nationals Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die

100 Things Nationals Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die will have you reminiscing about the good ol' days and laughing about the crazy times in franchise history.
100 Things Nationals Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die will have you reminiscing about the good ol’ days and laughing about the crazy times in franchise history.

Washington Nationals fans should definitely pick up a copy of 100 Things Nationals Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die to read on one of those rare days off between now and October.  

Jake Russell, a sports aide for The Washington Post, authored the book which threads together concise, yet detailed, two-page stories about players, historical figures, and bizarre moments in franchise history.

Some of the stories about players including Livan Hernandez (Livo), Chad Cordero (The Chief) and Ryan Zimmerman (Mr. Walkoff) will have you reminiscing about the good ol’ days. Other stories about players like Nyjer Morgan (Tony Plush) and Jose Guillen (The Combustible Jose Guillen) might leave you laughing and shaking your head about the crazy times in franchise history.

Nyjer Morgan started a benches clearing brawl after Chris Volstad threw a pitch thrown behind him in 2009. (gif from SB Nation)
Nyjer Morgan started a benches clearing brawl after Chris Volstad threw a pitch behind him in 2009. (gif from SB Nation)

Russell’s book will also be appealing to fans interested in the the history of baseball in Washington, DC. Chapters about Mickey Vernon, Walter Johnson, Clark Griffith and Ted Williams leave readers with a sense of the history of baseball in the city.

The unbelievable “incidents” are also great reads. Some of the craziest moments recalled are when Michael Morse pantomimed a home run swing (Michael Morse’s Phantom Grand Slam), the game when Zimmerman and Adam Dunn sported misspelled jerseys (Natinals) and, more seriously, the incident when Wilson Ramos was kidnapped (The Kidnapped Catcher).

As far as things Nationals fans should do, taking road trips is a common theme in the book. Getting to Nationals Park for Opening Day and July 4 are also things that fans should definitely “do before they die.” Seeing a concert at Nationals Park is also truly an exciting experience.

Attending a game on Opening Day and July 4 are two things Nationals fans should do before they die.
Attending a game on Opening Day and July 4 are two things Nationals fans should do before they die.

The book jumps around the timeline which some fans may find exciting–or frustrating. One moment you will be in 2014 reading about how Bryce Harper was benched for “lack of hustle” (Bryce’s Benching) and the next moment you will be reading about how, Moe Berg, a Senator’s reserve catcher, was recruited by the Office of Strategic Services to spy on the Japanese in 1943 (The Senators’ Spy).

You can purchase your copy of 100 Things Nationals Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die on Russell’s website. The website also has information about upcoming book signings. He will be signing copies of his book at Nationals Park on Tuesday, May 10 before the Nationals take on the Detroit Tigers.

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