On Sunday, May 26th the Washington Nationals hosted more than 100 individuals, families and supporters of the autism community on Autism Awareness Day at Nationals Park as part of Major League Baseball’s partnership with Autism Speaks.
The Washington Nationals challenged the Philadelphia Phillies, on a beautiful day that began with the team’s special guests—kids and families touched by autism—taking part in the pre-game ceremonies.
Community Outreach Ambassador, Nora Fitzpatrick and daughters Rory and Grace Stephens along with David Finland, an adult with autism who is celebrating his 5th year working in Guest Services at Nationals Park, were greeted on the field by Nationals Mascot Screech. Moments later, 9 year old John Lindsay called "play ball" from the top of the dugout to begin the game.
The Washington Nationals not only offered discounted tickets to our guests, invited us to participate in the pre-game ceremonies, allowed us to distribute materials from their community clubhouse, and set up a special Quiet Area for those needing a break from the noise of the ballpark.
Special thanks go to Major League Baseball, which has teamed up with Autism Speaks in a league-wide effort to raise autism awareness. All 30 MLB Clubs will raise awareness for the disorder during one home game during the regular season. Many of the MLB Autism Awareness games throughout the league will provide special opportunities and a safe, friendly environment for families and individuals affected by autism. For more information about MLB Autism Awareness and to check on respective Club dates commemorating the initiative, please check out MLB's site here.