As COVID-19 struck the nation last month, it meant that some of our favorite spring pastimes were placed on hold, including the start of the inaugural season of the Fredericksburg Nationals.
On March 13, Minor League Baseball announced the opening of the season would be delayed until “public health experts and agencies have decided it is safe to begin the 2020 season, and the players are physically ready to begin the season.”
Construction continues at the new 5,000-seat stadium at Celebrate Virginia South, though hiring for game-day positions and plans for opening day at the new site are on hold, pending decisions from Minor League Baseball.
We might be waiting for players to take the field, but the team has lined up key partners in the Stafford community.
The FredNats and Germanna Community College have partnered to develop the Jackie Robinson Writing Contest and Scholarship Fund, open to all high school students in Fredericksburg and surrounding counties. The first five scholarship winners of $1,042 are expected to be announced later this season. (42 was Jackie Robinson’s uniform number.)
Germanna Community College, in conjunction with the Fredericksburg Area Museum and Dovetail Cultural Resource Group, is also creating an 80-foot-long history pavilion on the back of the “batter’s eye” of the stadium outfield concourse. This pavilion includes a wall that will highlight various historic events relating to baseball in Fredericksburg. Several “History Minutes of Fredericksburg” will be displayed pregame in the ballpark.
At beer stands, Stafford’s 6 Bears & A Goat Brewing Co. has been named “Official Craft Beer of the FredNats.”
The brewery will offer a variety of styles of its beers, along with a special FredNats-branded beer sold only in the stadium and at the Stafford brewery, at 1140 International Parkway.
“Having played and coached baseball for most of my life, and supported local charitable events that promote the value of learning life skills on the baseball field, I am thrilled about our partnership with the FredNats organization,” said Mark Faller, founder and managing partner of 6 Bears & a Goat.
SimVentions is another Stafford-based business partnering with the team. The engineering and technology contractor will be the sponsor for weekly Salute to Service games honoring service members, veterans and first responders. Weekly auctions of player jerseys will support the Families of the Wounded Fund.