WOODBRIDGE, Va., March 9, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The Potomac Nationals will commemorate local history with their first-ever History of Baseball Night, July 2nd at Pfitzner Stadium. In partnership with the Prince William & Manassas Convention and Visitors Bureau the P-Nats will turn back the clock and remember a time when the area surrounding their ballpark was the crossroads of American history. The evening will serve to commemorate the 150th Anniversary of the Civil War, the impact the war had on the development of the game of baseball, and the ways in which the conflict forever altered the game's history.
Fittingly, the P-Nats will honor this history 150 years to the day after a landmark ballgame. On July 2, 1861, the Washington Nationals played host to an amateur team made up of members of the 71st New York Regiment. That day, the 71st defeated the Nationals, 41-13. It was the first of a great many games involving the armies; in fact, many baseball historians point out that the games within army encampments helped to spread the game throughout the country and catapult it to a new level of popularity. According to Michael Aubrecht in the Baseball Almanac, baseball found a new place in American society during the Civil War:
"The mass concentration of young men in army camps and prisons eventually converted the sport formerly reserved for 'gentlemen' into a recreational pastime that could be enjoyed by people from all backgrounds," Aubrecht wrote. "For instance, both officers and enlisted men played side by side and soldiers earned their places on the team because of their athletic talents, not their military rank or social standing."
The Nationals and the visiting Wilmington Blue Rocks will wear "period" jerseys; the Nats' replica tops will be auctioned off after the ballgame. The night will also feature one of the calendar year's most exciting giveaways – the first 1,000 fans will receive an Abner Doubleday bobblehead. Abner Doubleday, a Union General in the American Civil War, is thought to be the inventor of the game of baseball.
Prince William & Manassas has more than 80 events planned this year to commemorate the 150th Anniversary of the Battle of First Manassas/Bull Run. From July 21 – 24, commemorative events will include Manassas National Battlefield Park ceremonies and events, a reenactment of the Battle of First Manassas/Bull Run on July 23 and 24, the City of Manassas events, Prince William Historic Sites and much more. For a schedule of events, visit www.manassasbullrun.com.
"We are thrilled to partner with our home town minor league team, the Potomac Nationals. The 'History of Baseball' Night is an incredible opportunity to educate fans of our local history and that of our national pastime of Baseball; the roots of which lie in the time period of the Civil War," said Ann Marie Maher, Executive Director of the Prince William & Manassas Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Saturday's History of Baseball Night will kickoff one of the most extravagant weekend series of the year at Pfitzner Stadium; the P-Nats will celebrate America's independence with fireworks on Saturday, July 2, Sunday, July 3 and Monday, July 4.
Fans who purchase a season ticket or mini plan are guaranteed seats to the July 4th ballgame, an annual sellout. To get your plan now, call 703-590-2311 or visit us online at www.potomacnationals.com.
SOURCE Prince William & Manassas Convention and Visitors Bureau