Baseball season may officially be months away but that didn’t stop the Washington Nationals from belting out a solid home run with a surprise visit to NRH on Thursday, December 14.
Catcher Brian Schneider and third baseman Ryan Zimmerman made the rounds, happily signing autographs and posing for pictures, while Screech, the Nat’s lovable mascot, put on a show all his own with dance moves the envy of hip-hop artists everywhere!
Brian, Ryan and Screech dropped in on several adult patients as well as the outpatient therapy clinic where several of the patients challenged Screech to a hilarious dance-off. Then they moved on to Research to have a look at projects that are in the works and to commend the staff on their efforts at improving the lives of those with disabilities. However, it was upon their entering the National Center for Children’s Rehabilitation that the real magic happened.
The players handed out autographed pictures, ball caps and teddy bears and the children’s enthusiasm bubbled over as they questioned Brian and Ryan about their lives as professional baseball players. The players explained that the most important element to their success is hard work and always giving their best effort during training, even when they’re tired, sick or just having a bad day. They stressed that this kind of effort is just as critical to the children in their journey through rehab and they asked the kids to promise to always give their best too.
As if to prove that they’d taken the advice to heart, several of the patients took the opportunity to demonstrate for the players just how far they’ve come in their rehabilitation by standing and taking a few steps or by accurately throwing a ball to the players’ outstretched hands. It was truly a display of holiday magic and a visit that won’t soon be forgotten!