It’s been a pretty good week for professional sports in DC.
Baseball season is back in full swing, and so far the Washington Nationals have a winning season! On opening day Bryce Harper hit a home run in the sixth inning, and the Nationals went on to beat the Marlins, 4-2.
That homer gave Harper a record as the first player under age 25 to hit five home runs on opening day—one homer in each of the last three season openers and two in the first game of the 2013 season. At 24, he is the youngest player in history to reach that number.
Meanwhile, the Washington Wizards have officially clinched the Southeast Division for the first time since it was created when the league expanded to 30 teams in 2004. It’s also the first time they’ve won a division title at all since they won the Atlantic Division back in 1979.
John Wall showed off his versatility on Tuesday when he scored 23 points with 13 assists and had six steals in the game against Charlotte. The Wizards went on to win 118-111.
And on the ice, the Caps brushed by the Rangers Wednesday to clinch the Metropolitan Division title, Eastern Conference, and Presidents’ Trophy. We are all hoping they are hungry enough to play right through to the last round of the playoffs and bring the Stanley Cup home to DC this year.
Alexander Ovechkin is one of the most dynamic and entertaining players in all of professional sports, and clearly one of the best hockey players ever. This is the most balanced and well-rounded team to ever play with him, and the coaching and management staff in Washington are terrific. This could be the year they go the distance.
Harper, Wall, Ovechkin: Household names in DC because they entertain us and inspire us with their talent, skill, determination, and passion for their sport. We are happy to claim them as hometown heroes. But the real inspiration is how these individual teams have each come together to create environments for success.
It takes a team to win games and advance to the finals. It’s when a group is focused and devoted to a singular goal that it can keep winning through the playoffs. And a long season—like the one just starting for Bryce Harper and the Nationals—requires a team willing to go the distance together to make it a winning season.