Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Washington Nationals Tribute to Virginia Tech

I saw this on Baseball Tonight last night but nearly forgot it until reminded (HT:Outside the Beltway) The Washington Nationals baseball franchise all wore Virginia Tech caps last night to show solidarity and support for the school after the tragic loss of over 30 students to a disturbed student gunman.

"The idea sprang from an e-mail that Nationals fan Dave Lanham sent to team president Stan Kasten. Lanham, a resident of Calvert County, suggested that the team don the hats in tribute. Kasten liked the thought but didn't see the e-mail until after his afternoon meetings.
With about 90 minutes before first pitch, Harolyn Cardozo, executive assistant to General Manager Jim Bowden, was on the phone calling sporting goods stores. She dialed the number to the Sports Authority's store in Alexandria, and when she heard a voice, she had one simple demand: "Give me the smartest guy in the store who can get something done fast."
Paul Schneider, a department manager, soon was scouring the store for Hokies hats. Cardozo asked for 40 of them and they needed to be at the stadium before the Nats took the field. Schneider found about 20 on the rack and discovered a box full in a storeroom. He talked his managers into donating the 38 hats of various styles, then jumped in his car to cross the Wilson Bridge and weave through rush-hour traffic to get to RFK.
Fifteen minutes before the first pitch, Major League Baseball gave the team approval. Schneider arrived at the stadium during the first inning, and the caps made it to the Nationals' dugout in time for the team to take the field with them for the second inning."

Outstanding idea and coordination between the club, the store, its manager and MLB. Several of the player's caps have been donated to the university, and Nats OF Chris Snelling has donated his to the Baseball Hall of Fame.

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