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WHEREAS, the Washington Nationals are a professional baseball team in Major League Baseball with an unwavering and impassioned fan base in the Washington Metropolitan area, particularly in the Commonwealth of Virginia; and
WHEREAS, the Washington Nationals entered the playoffs as a Wild Card team from the National League East Division, finishing the regular season with ninety-three wins and sixty-nine losses; and
WHEREAS, the Washington Nationals defeated the Milwaukee Brewers by a score of 4-3 in thrilling fashion in the National League Wild Card (NLWC) game by overcoming a two-run deficit in the 8th inning with a three-run single into right field by Nationals’ left fielder, Juan Soto; and
WHEREAS, infielder Howie Kendrick led the Washington Nationals to victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 5 of the 2019 National League Division Series (NLDS) with his go-ahead grand slam in the 10th inning; and
WHEREAS, Kendrick was subsequently selected as the National League Championship Series (NLCS) Most Valuable Player (MVP), as the Nationals swept the St. Louis Cardinals four games-to-zero en route to the World Series; and
WHEREAS, the Nationals’ pitching staff also had a remarkable outing in the NLCS, with Patrick Corbin and Stephen Strasburg each striking out 12 batters, Max Scherzer striking out 11 batters, and Scherzer and Aníbal Sánchez both having no-hit bids of at least six innings in each of their appearances; and
WHEREAS, trailing for the fifth time in the postseason, the Nationals were down two-to-zero in the seventh inning of Game 7 when Anthony Rendon and Howie Kendrick vaulted the Washington Nationals ahead of the Houston Astros, igniting the team’s offense as they went on to win the game by a score of 6-2 and clinch the World Series; and
WHEREAS, powered by exceptional pitching performances and remarkable resilience on the road, the Nationals are the first team in MLB history to win four road games in the World Series to secure the title; and
WHEREAS, Stephen Strasburg, the 2019 Willie Mays World Series MVP, dominated in each of his five postseason appearances, becoming the first player in MLB history to record five victories in a single postseason without a loss; and
WHEREAS, fans everywhere enjoyed the Nationals’ extraordinary team chemistry down the stretch, especially their “Baby Shark” celebrations inspired by the team’s spirit leader Gerardo Parra; and
WHEREAS, the Nationals displayed poise and strength throughout their 2019 postseason run, and serve as an inspiration for fans and athletes alike; and
WHEREAS, their championship victory brought great excitement to the Washington Metropolitan region and to devoted fans everywhere who encouraged the team to “Stay in the Fight” all season; and
WHEREAS, the Commonwealth congratulates the Washington Nationals on finishing the fight and joins the team and fans across Virginia in celebrating a remarkable season and the first World Series victory in franchise history;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize November 2, 2019, as WASHINGTON NATIONALS APPRECIATION DAY in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.