Dr. Seuss Goes to the Ballpark

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Dr. Seuss Goes to the Ballpark

I'm a newly-minted baseball fan and have been following the rise of the Washington Nationals with an excitement for spectator sports that I haven't had since I was a child.

But I have a few problems with the Nationals. One, the name is kinda lame and the nickname is even lamer-- the (g)Nats.

Second is the Nats hats. Did the design & marketing team even consider the implications of putting a "W" on a red hat for the baseball team for the most political, partisan town in the whole U.S.? In a city where a large percentage of the fan base is involved in politics one way or another? Apparently not.
During the design process, a baseball spokeswoman said, nobody made the connection to a certain political figure, for whom the same 23rd letter of the alphabet is a down-home nickname.

"The political part of it never came up," said Kathleen Fineout, baseball's director of marketing communications.
Duh. Seriously, how could a nobody make that connection? A few months ago I saw my first Nats hat at work, sitting on a person's desk that I knew to be a Democrat. I was a little confused so I asked if they were switching sides. They said they didn't like it either, that they'd only wear it while they were at an actual game. Then last week on my way to a game an outside vendor was selling Nats hats-- and I heard some guy yell at him "I'd never wear a red hat with a "W" on it. No sir!"

My final complaint is not nearly so petty-- the new Nats stadium is going to result in the destruction of a historic gay business district in SE Washington DC. But, sadly, there's nothing to be done about that, especially after the recent SCOTUS eminent domain ruling.

Lucky for the Nats they seem to know what to do with their bats.

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