Opening Day in Washington D.C. passed without much of the pomp and circumstance one would come to expect to the start of the baseball season in our nation’s Capitol.
In fact, later that week we would see Detroit open their season in Comerica Park in patriotic fashion with an incredible military flyover: four A-10 aircraft from the 107th Fighter Squadron, 127th Wing, Michigan Air National Guard.
Cold, damp and wet, many chose to either stay at home and watch or simply find something else to do. Whatever the reasons, the electricity and excitement of Opening Day is always a thrill for myself and all Major League umpires and can never be spoiled by inclement weather or any outside conditions.
Just a day later, the cherry blossoms in full bloom, and the Capitol bracing for one of the busiest tourist times of the year, we find ourselves on a rare and early scheduled off day. Baseball schedules these days immediately after Opening Day in many of the cities in the event the opening game cannot be played due to weather. It was almost needed here in D.C., but fortunately the weather cooperated just enough to see the completion of the game.
Taking advantage of the day, I had the honor and privilege to meet with U.S. Congressman Mike Coffman from Colorado. Rep. Coffman is from my home district in Colorado and knowing his background (returned to active duty twice – after first Gulf War and again after 9-11), I had hoped to have the chance to speak with him. Rep. Coffman rushed in from a frantic vote session over the pending budget and we sat in his office and chatted about Colorado, baseball and some politics.
His staff was incredibly friendly and gracious during my visit. Legislative Affairs Assistant, Paul Mandelson guided me on a unique tour of the Capitol and the adjoining historical tunnels and structures.
Meeting U.S. Congressman, Mike Coffman – a genuine leader and the embodiment of a patriot for Colorado and our Country – it was the perfect way to spend an off day in Washington D.C.