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Washington Nationals Head To The World Series For The 1st Time

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

It's been more than 80 years since the World Series was played in Washington, D.C., but that's about to change. Last night, the Washington Nationals completed their sweep against the St. Louis Cardinals and will take on either the Yankees or Astros next week. Hannah Schuster of member station WAMU tells us what this moment means for the nation's capital.

HANNAH SCHUSTER, BYLINE: Yesterday was a beautiful night for baseball, but today, it poured. Andrew Martin (ph) says that's how you know anyone who braved this weather to visit the Nationals team store today is a true diehard fan.

ANDREW MARTIN: We're so incredibly psyched by this. We actually had tickets to the game tonight and are delighted not to be able to use them and not just because it's pouring rain right now.

SCHUSTER: The 45-year-old has been a fan since the team arrived in 2005 and even attended their first game. He got used to the mediocre years and when the Nats got bounced out of the playoffs. Martin's kids, 6 and 8, are huge fans, too. But Martin is also excited about what this win means for the entire Washington region.

MARTIN: Especially in a city as transitory as D.C. where everyone comes from someplace else, you bring your own fandoms when you move here. But, yeah, this is something that the whole city can get behind and get together. And it gives us a sense of shared identity that is often lacking in a city like this.

SCHUSTER: D.C. has been championship starved for quite some time, but that's changing. Last year, the Washington Capitals won hockey's Stanley Cup. And just last week, the Washington Mystics claimed their first ever WNBA championship.

DEBBIE TAYLOR: I think for younger people, particularly, who've never seen any kind of championship until the Capitals it's just something that they can, you know, hang on to. And their kids will be Nats fans forever now because they've experienced this.

SCHUSTER: That's former Arlington Virginia resident Debbie Taylor (ph). She and her husband, Brian (ph) retired to North Carolina a few years ago but came back to watch yesterday's game in person.

BRIAN TAYLOR: You stood all night long because everybody wanted to see every single pitch.

SCHUSTER: Washington, D.C., is a place where people talk a lot about politics and government, but for a change, that's pushed aside. The enthusiasm and excitement here are all about the World Series. Resident Rich Dooley (ph) puts it this way.

RICH DOOLEY: I think if we come out winning the World Series, it can only bring the city together more. There's no divisiveness in a winner.

SCHUSTER: Only six days until Game 1 when the Nationals take on either the Houston Astros or the New York Yankees.

For NPR News, I'm Hannah Schuster in Washington. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.