On July 30, it was a stifling hot day in Washington, D.C., at Nationals Park where the Washington Nationals batted against the New York Mets. The tropical torture continued until the bottom of the ninth when the Nationals and Mets - like the democrats and republicans across town - were deadlocked.
The score was 2-2 with Nationals' shortstop Ian Desmond at the plate. Desmond's .225 batting average wasn't terrible for a position player, but it also wasn't exactly the guarantee of a game-ending hit. Either way, New York Mets Bobby Parnell fired off a 95-mph slider and Desmond cracked it straight back at him. Parnell plunged for the chopper but missed as Nationals' outfielder Rick Ankiel sprinted from third base, dove head-first to home plate and delivered a walk-off victory for the Washington Nationals.
However, despite the sweltering heat, one group of fans were sorry to see the game end as they had watched in air-conditioned luxury, snacking on free food and sipping cool, complimentary beverages. The fans were wounded warriors and their family members who had spent the afternoon in a Nationals Park presidential suite as guests of Baker Tilly, an accounting and consulting firm headquartered in Tysons Corner, Va.
The special afternoon had been arranged by the Wounded Warrior Foundation and Baker Tilly's Scott Davidson, a retired Army captain.
"The accommodations were fantastic," said Mark Walker, deputy director of the Legion's Economic Division. "There was a private VIP entrance to the suite, a big HDTV inside and another TV monitor on the suite's front porch. The wounded warriors had concierge service, reserved parking and complimentary game programs and stat sheets. They went all out."
Joe Sharpe, the Legion's economic director, agreed that the wounded warrior guest day had been a huge success. "Baker Tilly has hit on a winner and, best of all, promises to continue hosting wounded warriors in their luxury suite for the remainder of this season and into the next."