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5 Things to be Thankful for this Thanksgiving for a Nationals Fan

In a season filled with a lot of heartbreak, there were some fun moments for Washington Nationals fans and observers.


The 2021 season was a pretty hard one for Washington Nationals fans. There was a massive trade-off that sent a lot of fan favorites to new teams, however, there are still a couple of things to be really thankful for this Thanksgiving and I thought it would be a little fun to list them.

Happy Thanksgiving!

5: Moving on from 2019

This might spark some debate, however, I think that this is a good thing. After a shortened 2020 season, there was some thinking “what if,” now we got our answer. 2019 was an epic team and one that I think will never be re-assembled again in any sort for decades to come.

Too many times, an organization holds onto the past, however, with the departer of Scherzer and Truner, the front office made the hard choice to move on and start building for the future. Don’t get me wrong, it was hard to see those two players leave Washington D.C., however, at the end of the day it was the right move.

With the departure of those two players, there are only a handful of players left from the 2019 championship team (Zimmerman, Soto, Corbin, Robles, Stevenson, and Strasburg), and now comes the hard task of rebuilding the core Nationals for the future. May we never forget 2019, but now it’s time to officially move on and embrace the future.

4 Schwarber Bombs

In a season filled with heartache, there was one month that was really fun at Nationals Park: June 2021.

On January 9, 2021, the Washington Nationals announced they had signed Schwarber to a one-year major league contract containing a mutual option for 2022.

Schwarber was named the National League Player of the Month for June 2021, as he slashed .280/.362/.760 and hit 16 home runs in an 18-game span from June 12 to 29. On July 3, he was added to the injured list with a right hamstring strain.

Schwarber appeared in 72 games with the Nationals, batting .253 with 25 home runs and 53 RBIs. Even though Schwarber was traded at the trade deadline, during the month of June every at-bat was a much-watch event.

3 Being back at Nationals Park

After not being able to attend baseball games in person during the 2020 “season,” it was so nice to return to Nationals Park this past summer. Yes, there were some moments that I am sure we would like to forget, however, the smells, the friendships, and the reunions that happen at Nationals Park are priceless.

2: Future Prospects: Cavalli, Cluff, Rutledge, Henry et al.

The future of the Washington Nationals is going to be bright, I really do believe it, and the Nationals will once again be a constant playoff contender and it’s going to be on the backs of the future Nationals’ prospects that are making their way up through the minor leagues. Cade Cavalli, this year proved to be and could be the starter that the Organization thought that he could be when they drafted him in 2020.

Despite injuries, Rutledge ended his Arizona Fall League on the upside and Jackson Cluff also ended his participation in the Arizona Fall League by being named Defensive Player of the Year. Not a bad way to carry momentum into Spring Training 2022.

1: Juan Soto

Being able to see up close and personal Juan Soto play has just been so much fun. Thank goodness we are guaranteed at least three more seasons of seeing Soto play in a Curly W uniform. In 2021, Soto got his first nod for the National League MVP award, and should have won the award, however, another former Washington Nationals won his second MVP award this year. In terms of stats, Soto once again proved to be the most valuable player here in Washington D.C.

Soto was named a National League All-Star and participated in the T-Mobile Home Run Derby in 2021. He vaulted himself into Most Valuable Player consideration thanks to a strong second half coming out of the All-Star break, hitting .348/.525/.639 with 11 doubles, one triple, 18 homers, 53 RBI, 87 walks, and 57 runs scored. His .525 on-base percentage ranked eighth in Major League history for any player after the All-Star break.

Soto led all of Major League Baseball in on-base percentage (.465) and walks (145) in his fourth professional season. He ranked second among National League hitters in OPS (.999), batting average (.313), and runs scored (111). He was the only qualified player in Major League Baseball with more walks than strikeouts (93), leading the league with a 1.56 walk-to-strikeout ratio.

Soto’s .465 on-base percentage was the highest in a season since 2008 (HOF Chipper Jones, .470), while his 145 walks were the most in a season since Barry Bonds set the Major League record with 232 in 2004 and the second-most by any player prior to his 23rd birthday behind Hall of Famer Ted Williams (147 in 1941).

Soto also won his second Silver Slugger Award. Not bad for a 23-year-old.

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