We won’t deny it: we’re homers. Some may call us hopeless. That’s fair, we accept that title with wide open arms and goofy, often vacant smiles.
Thus though the season ended much sooner than we all hoped, even expected, we found a lot to be grateful for in 2013. A second consecutive winning season. A top-5 statistical finish for Jayson Werth in batting average, on base percentage, and OPS. A 29-game hitting streak and a 153-game #spanning streak by Nationals newcomer Denard Span. Consecutive 20-20 seasons for Ian Desmond. Most National League wins by Jordan Zimmermann. The retirement of a baseball icon, Davey Johnson, while wearing the Washington Nationals uniform. And that’s not to mention the growth and maturity exhibited by a young roster saddled with its first season of high expectations, a young roster that should stay intact for the next several years. The team is on the rise. The fan base is on the rise. We have a lot to be grateful for, Natstown. And it’s only going to be better.
But what about … the other achievements? Stats only tell part of the story. Sure, home runs are great. But making sure you get to the airport on time? That’s also great. Batting titles or whatever are nice and all, but you’re nothing these days if you can’t pwn some n00b in Call of Duty. And seriously, who wants to go hungry at a ballpark with no post-game entertainment? Who are we going to model our hairdos after? What song am I going to play while flipping quinoa burgers on the Brazilian bluestone patio!?! For the love of humanity, Natstown needs answers!
We have them. Baseball can stand alone; but it’s the artistry around the edges that makes it Major League Baseball. It is for these unsung traits, these so-called “intangible tangibles” that all coaches rave about, that we present to you the inaugural Nationals Archive Nattie Awards. We were shocked and humbled that over 250 of you (wow!) submitted votes for this first-ever awards ceremony. Natstown thanks you, and undoubtedly, the winners thank you too.
Among the winners: Jayson Werth (4 Natties, most of anyone), Ian Desmond, Teddy, and the Shake Shack. Denard Span pulled in the most second place finishes – a solid accomplishment for a newcomer to the franchise. A note to the winners: your prize is dinner with us, the members of The Nationals Archive. Please DM us on Twitter to schedule the date. In the mean time, enjoy this very tasteful trophy:
Now without further ado: Jayson Werth’s Beard, the envelope, please.
Category: Ballpark Experience — Best Walk-Up Song
- Jayson Werth - Werewolves of London (59%)
- Ryan Zimmerman – Radioactive (13%)
- Ryan Mattheus – Firework (11%)
Sorry Katy Perry, but the late Warren Zevon still rules this town. Meanwhile, voting results seem to indicate the Adam LaRoche may want to think about a different walk-up tune in 2014.
Category: Ballpark Experience – Best Nats Park Food
- Shake Shack (35%)
- Ben’s Chili Bowl (29%)
- Hard Times Cafe (26%)
Burgers and shakes beat out a DC establishment. We can’t say we disagree, though there are no losers here – all the options are delicious!
Category: Ballpark Experience – Best NatsLive Artist
- Blues Traveler (31.4%)
- Gavin DeGraw (31.0%)
- Sammy Hagar (20%)
In the closest race among all categories, the smooth tunes of Blues Traveler beat out singer Gavin DeGraw by ONE vote.
Category: Ballpark Experience – Favorite Racing President
- Teddy (57%)
- Abe (17%)
- Tom (11%)
Despite rumors of a curse, Teddy still took home this prize with ease. Shockingly, Bill finished dead last. Maybe it was because of this:
Category: Fan Experience — Favorite MASN Personality
- F.P. Santangelo (51%)
- Ray Knight (20%)
- Julie Alexandria (13%)
Our Santangebro ran away with this category, besting lovable Ray Knight and impressive newcomer Julie Alexandria.
Category: Fan Experience — Best National to Follow on Twitter
- Ian Desmond (57%)
- Denard Span (20%)
- Gio Gonzalez (10%)
Honorary Archivist Ian Desmond was the clear winner in this category – and we swear we did not stuff the ballot. Surprising was newcomer Denard Span’s second place finish – no small feat for a first year Nat.
Category: Fan Experience – Best Hashtag
- #EatFace (25%)
- #Spanning (18%)
- #TSAO (15%)
In another close race, the zombified hashtag spawned by a Jayson Werth quote beat out the buzzword inspired by our slick-fielding centerfielder.
Category: Fan Experience – Best 2013 Moment
- Harper’s Two Opening Day Home Runs (33%)
- Werth’s Home Run for Hit # 1,000 (31%)
- Desmond’s 11th Inning Grand Slam (16%)
Only five votes separated the champion from the runner up, as Harper scores himself his first ever Nattie Award. Congrats, big kid!
Category: Players — Player You’d Most Trust to Drive You to the Airport
- Ryan Zimmerman (38%)
- Jordan Zimmermann (31%)
- Tyler Clippard (13%)
It’s official: Natstown wants the men(n) Zimmer as their chauffeurs — in this case, the face of the franchise himself wins out for his steadfast reliability.
Category: Players — Player With the Best Hair
- Jayson Werth (35%)
- Bryce Harper (26%)
- Gio Gonzalez (25%)
In an upset, our hirsute right fielder beat out Harper’s stylish pompadour and Gio’s twice-a-week coiffure. We are investigating ballot stuffing by a certain Archivist who shall not be named.
Category: Players — Player Who Is (Probably) the Best Cook
- Adam LaRoche (39%)
- Gio Gonzalez (24%)
- Chad Tracy (16%)
Not surprisingly, cattle rancher and avid outdoorsman Adam LaRoche took this prize. Though we confess, we’re curious what, exactly, bachelor Gio Gonzalez would cook.
Category: Players — Player Most Likely to Order a Pumpkin Spice Latte
- Dan Haren (39%)
- Anthony Rendon (28%)
- Bryce Harper (25%)
Handsome Dan Haren won this award by a wide margin, and we’re not sure what that means. Jeff Kobernus was disqualified for admitting to a PSL purchase on Twitter.
Category: Players — Player Who Could Kick Your Butt in Video Games
- Drew Storen (50%)
- Bryce Harper (23%)
- Anthony Rendon (17%)
Not surprisingly, self-professed Call of Duty afficionado Drew Storen took this prize running away. Poor Ian Desmond, meanwhile, got roasted with less than 2% of the vote. Boom, headshot.
- I mean, come on…
Category: Players — Who Will Manage the Nats in 2014?
- Randy Knorr (53%)
- Cal Ripken, Jr. (21%)
- Matt Williams (10%)
Franchise loyalty and the voice of the players won out, and Randy Knorr took home the only coaching Nattie. Congrats to him, and best of luck in his job application!
There you have it. Four wins for Werth, who we can now officially call the Nattiest Nat of them all. Thank you for voting, Natstown!