Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Summer 2018 Nationals Blood Drive

Since we bought tickets to a Washington Nationals game, I am on the email spam list. One email they sent was announcing a blood drive at Nationals Park sponsored by Inova Blood Donor Services. I signed up since I am a regular donor with the Red Cross but made the switch because they were offering two free tickets to a game later in the season.

Donors got to park for free at the stadium lot, which was very convenient. The lot was mostly empty, as was the stadium. Walking in was a little spooky without anyone there, except for the security guys at the entrance.

Entering an empty stadium

In case you can't read the sign

The Nationals were on the road playing the Toronto Blue Jays, a game they lost. So the place was really empty except for the blood drive.

Empty outfield

Empty infield

I guess they were having some dinner on the infield later, that's why they set up a bunch of tables along the base lines.

Scoreboard welcoming us

I didn't take pictures in the blood drive because that seemed like it might be icky and, more importantly, illegal. They don't give you the free tickets until after you've given your pint. The donation went well though it was slow because it was fairly crowded.

My bandage

 One of the conference rooms had a bunch of snacks for post-donation refreshment. I took advantage of that. Then I walked down the hall to pick up the swag. In addition to free tickets (there was a choice between four different games, so that was nice), I also received a t-shirt.

Free tickets!

Free t-shirt!

 There's no player #18 this year, though last year Jeremy Guthrie and Ryan Raburn wore that number. Maybe they gave the number just because it's 2018.

The blood drive also offered a free back-stage tour of the stadium. My donation was at 3:30 which made it hard to hit one of the hourly tours. Plus I had to get home, so waiting for the 5 o'clock tour seemed like it would be too long.

Tour sign

 Happily, they are hosting another blood drive in September. I booked an earlier time and may bring the kids with me so they can go on the tour too.

Door to the blood collection room

I did see some of the cool posters and memorabilia on my way out. And we will be back for a game in August and another donation in September.

1887 baseball cards

Back when the Washington team was the Senators

Empty stadium hallways

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