Washington Nationals Youth Baseball Academy (map it)
3675 Ely Pl SE
Washington, DC 20019
Year Opened: 2014
There are no tickets available at this time.
Official Review by Richard Smith, Stadium Journey Regional Correspondent
The Cal Ripken Collegiate Baseball League began in 2005 and the name honors both Cal Ripken Senior and Junior. The wood bat league is part of the National Alliance of College Summer Baseball, the same sanctioning body as the Cape Cod and New England Collegiate Baseball Leagues.
The DC Grays played originally on the campus of Gallaudet University before moving to the brand new Washington Nationals Youth Baseball Academy when it opened in 2014. The Grays are named in honor of the Negro League champion Homestead Grays. They state their mission as being a way "...to provide opportunities for college players, particularly African-American players, to develop their skills against some of the top college players in the country, and give inner city youth a chance to learn the great game of baseball.” As part of this mission the team offers skills clinics to local, underprivileged kids.
The FANFARE scale is our metric device for rating each stadium experience. It covers the following:
Each area is rated from 0 to 5 stars with 5 being the best. The overall composite score is the "FANFARE Score".
There is a small, simple concession stand located at the complex. Don't expect more than drinks, candy bars, chips and hot dogs. Prices are good, but I would recommend any real eating be done before or after a DC Grays game
The stadium is not very big, but was built to resemble a minor league baseball stadium set up. There are nice bleachers that wrap from dugout to dugout, as well as many areas to watch the game down the first baseline.
The entire field, except for the pitching mound, is made up of artificial turf. There is also a large netting that covers a good deal of the field.
The environment is family friendly and the PA announcer does a good job of updating fans on the action. There is also a nice souvenir table with some great looking merchandise and programs.
Another fun part about the Washington Nationals Youth Baseball Academy is that there are two youth fields next door where you can also take in some youth baseball. One of the fields also hosts the Howard University softball team.
Southeast DC is known as the more dangerous of the four quadrants of the city. It really is not the best area, although the neighborhood that sits next to the park looks quite safe. I would still not recommend wandering around more than you need to, especially after dark.
Because of the safety issue, I really cannot recommend anything to see or do in the immediate area. A good choice if coming from the suburbs is to stop at National Harbor, in nearby Oxon Hill, MD. There are numerous upscale and downscale restaurants at this newly constructed shopping and residential district. Grace's Mandarin and Elevation Burger are two good examples. There are also numerous hotels, although the largest and best option is Gaylord National Harbor. Also, be sure to check out the intriguing statue, known as The Awakening, that was moved here after spending many years at Hains Point, DC. At its old DC location, it was used for one scene in the Sandra Bullock movie, The Net.
You can also use a DC Grays game as an excuse to visit Washington, DC. The amount of attractions, museums, restaurants and other sights are astounding. Spend some time pre or postgame seeing the many things around this great city. Normally I would recommend using the Metro subway system, but with recent (2016) issues you may want to investigate schedules and station closings carefully.
There are not a lot of fans that come to the Grays games. It is mainly family and friends of the players with a few interested locals thrown in. If you have been to a college baseball stadium in the northeastern part of the United States you will see a pretty comparable crowd here.
You will have to drive to the Washington Nationals Youth Baseball Academy as there are no good public transportation options. Even if there was, the safety aspect of traveling here would not make it a great idea.
Driving is fine, just stay on the main roads. Once at the stadium you will find some street parking and a pretty large lot between the baseball complex and the neighboring Fort Dupont Ice Rink. The parking lot is extremely safe, but as in any metropolitan area please stay aware of your surroundings.
Coming in from either the suburbs or the rest of DC you will probably find yourself on Highway 295. The stadium is only a few minutes of of this major route.
Parking is free.
Just like parking, admission to the Grays game is free. The value is very high as the level of play is very good.
Make sure to check out any local youth teams in action at the compex. Just stay aware that means there is the potential for balls to come flying from multiple angles. Keep aware.
The Fort Dupont Ice Rink hosts many cool speed skating competitions that may be worth a visit. Check their schedule to see what is going on at this facility. At the very least check to see if there is any open skating times.
The Washington Nationals Youth Baseball Academy is a very cool, newly designed facility that showcases baseball in a very special way. If you want to see some quality, wood bat summer collegiate baseball action, this is a great stop.
There are no crowd reviews yet. Be the first and help us build with your expertise!
108 Waterfront S
Fort Washington, MD 20745
There are no local lodging entries. Help us build with your expertise!