If you went to the Nationals game a few weeks ago against the Chicago White Sox, you may have noticed something odd. It was fairly warm outside, yet a large group of fans were walking around wearing sweater-vests. What a bizarre choice of ballpark attire. How random...
Well actually, it wasn't random at all.
It was a collaborative effort to pay homage to the Washington Nationals and announcer FP Santangelo.
The event was organized by a Nats fan group called the Half Street Irregulars, an exclusive group of die-hard fans who joined together to highlight the positive aspects of being a baseball fan.
According to Frank Lattuca, one of several collaborators of the group and author at Nationals 101, "We want to exemplify all the great things about baseball fandom, but are adamantly against some of the nonsense that may come along." Sweater-Vest night was one way to do that.
But why sweater-vests? What does that have to do with the Nationals and FP Santangelo?
Actually, after doing some research it seems that nobody really knows the exact origin. But the mystique of the sweater-vest legend is one of the things that makes it so fun. Fans have embraced the sweater-vest idea with photoshops, hashtags, and of course Sweater-Vest Night.
|Sweater-vest Nation before the game taken by the Half Street Irregulars|
The event consisted of about 30 fans at the ballpark and others rocking their vests at home. The group met up pre-game to chat and make signs, and then tried to congregate in different sections to watch the game.
Half-Street Irregular Julie Morris had a great time. "I would not have missed this one for the world! A large group of people in sweater vests was bound to raise a few eyebrows, so why not?"
FP Santangelo was aware of the event, but did not join in as he claimed he could not find a sweatervest. FP did however make sure to let the MASN camera crew know about the event and several participants of Sweater-vest Nation, as FP called them, were shown on TV.
The Nationals defeated the White Sox to complete a 3 game sweep that night and everyone involved seemed to have a great night at the ballpark, especially Julie. "It was absolutely hilarious, and I can’t wait to do it again. It was a fun group of people, all of whom had a good sense of humor. We probably looked ridiculous, but we had a great time in the process."