Most people who know me know that my one of my main passions outside of hockey is baseball, specifically the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals. As luck would have it, my husband and I had tickets for last June 9th, a game played just over 36 hours after the Washington Capitals had won the Stanley Cup.
Much to my surprise, I received word via social media that the Stanley Cup would be in attendance at that game and that the recommendation was to arrive early to get a glimpse.
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) June 9, 2018
We went to our normal seats in the upper deck at Nats Park and then witnessed a sight. Ovi brought the Stanley Cup to the pitchers’ mound and, once he got there, hoisted it up for the crowd to see, as cheers rained down.
Ovi was wearing a custom Nats jersey shirt with a hockey style “C” for captain logo and the number 8 on the back. He was followed by Caps’ owner, Ted Leonsis and his teammates. One by one, his teammates, dressed in Nats’ tee shirts, joined him near the mound.
Ovechkin threw the ceremonial first pitch. He wound up, prepared his lefthanded delivery and threw it wild, as in above the head of his designated catcher, Nats’ pitcher Max Scherzer. Ovechkin would ask for another shot. He got another chance at the ceremonial first pitch and made a better throw this time.
After that, the entire squads of both the Nationals and the Capitals gathered around the Cup, with Ovi clutching his new found love.
Once Ovechkin and his team finished their “victory” lap, they proceeded to a suite on the second level to watch the game. Periodically, the Jumbotron would show a picture of the Caps’ holding up the Cup.
Alex Ovechkin is just holding the Stanley Cup up in the middle of the inning. They won’t put him on the Jumbotron because the ball is still in play lmfao #ALLCAPS #StanleyCup pic.twitter.com/XRRuUUWrOP
— Josh Billinson (@jbillinson) June 9, 2018
When it was time for the seventh inning stretch, the Nationals in-game Entertainment played Queen’s “We Are the Champions”, the traditional anthem of championship sports teams, along with “God Bless America” and the other more traditional music played at that juncture.
The Jumbotron also showed the Caps singing along in their suite. The game ended, with the Nats beating the Giants.
This is the best interview of 2018.@masnKolko asks Ovi what it’s like to be in front of this many D.C. sports fans after winning the Stanley Cup.
He and his teammates start singing “We Are The Champions.” pic.twitter.com/udAJuOVIZQ
— Jake Russell (@_JakeRussell) June 9, 2018
As we left the game, we saw a large crowd gathered on the second level who were obviously waiting for the Caps’ players to leave.
— Andrew _/ (@Capsandredskins) June 9, 2018
We did not join in but proceeded to Metro and then straight home. Later that evening, we heard on social media and blogs about the post-game partying, both at Nats Park and the celebrations at the fountain in Georgetown.
That Next Morning Feeling: Was It Real?
Coming Home! – The First Night Home With The Stanley Cup In The DMV Was Historic
Washington Post Account of Ovechkin Cup Celebration
NHL Account of Nats Joining Caps in Stanley Cup Celebration
MLB Account of Caps Celebration at Nats Park
(Material obtained from NHL.com and MLB.com)
By Diane Doyle