An opening night for the ages

The Baltimore Sun

Whatever the Washington Nationals are paying Ryan Zimmerman, it's not enough.

How much is it worth to a franchise to have its new stadium cursed with an Opening Day calamity or blessed with heroics of the Roy Hobbs variety?

Washington, one of major league baseball's downtrodden teams, was on the verge Sunday night of seeing its inaugural regular-season game at Nationals Park slip away as a 2-1 lead over the Atlanta Braves became a shaky 2-2 tie on a passed ball in the top of the ninth.

Meanwhile, the Nationals' offense, after scoring two runs in the first, went 24 up and 24 down and invited the question as to whether anyone would reach base again before Memorial Day.

That's when Zimmerman hit a two-out, never-in-doubt blast that saved Nationals Park's first game from everlasting infamy and made the night a story for the ages for D.C. baseball fans. Legacy, as they say in the credit card commercial, is something on which you can't put a price.

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