Before the season, the Nationals released their promotion schedule and one of the intriguing promotions was the Jayson Werth Garden Gnome on August 5th. I was a partial season ticket holder, but August 5 was not in my plan. Luckily, by being a season ticket holder, I could exchange games. More luck, the preseason game between the Detroit Tigers and the Washington Nationals was cancelled and the ticket, which I had but could not attend, can be exchanged to any regular season game and August 5 was the selection.
Fast forward to the day of the gnome giveaway, I left my house at 9AM to pick up my gnome costume in Ballston. I decided to go with the gnome costume for only one purpose: win the Nats Fan of the Game for the third time in four tries (and the $50 Harris Teeter gift card).
I notice when I stop at Ballston, the rate from Fairfax to Ballston is now $3.10 at off-peak hours. After getting some work done, I decided to walk from Ballston to Nationals Park, with a lunch stop at Custom Fuel (I had a Livingsocial deal). I also realize the Africa Summit was happening that morning and there were some closures, so I walked around and when I finished my lunch, the crew were just removing the barricade over at The White House. I did some errands and finish work and when I saw Nationals 101 tweet that the line was forming, it was time to go.
PEOPLE ARE IN LINE FOR THE GARDEN GNOME….and I will still get mine when I get there around 5.
— Nationals 101 (@Nationals101) August 5, 2014
When I got there, a line was starting to form and would reach to the Navy Yard Metro stop before the gates open at 4:30 PM. During the 60-75 minute wait at the line, a lot of people were taking a lot of pictures of me. I was stunned by the amount of picture requests because I know there will be some who will dressed up as gnomes and a few will have dressed as gnomes with beards. Why would I think I’m not the only one dressing up? Looking at the other pictures, I was one of two, at the park, who had the full gnome gear, including the beard. It really got started with my friend, Elissa’s tweet:
And then the media started picking it up (yes, I noticed, there’s no y):
— WTOP (@WTOP) August 5, 2014
Picture requests continued when I got into the park. At the same time, my entrepreneurial mind also told me to give out business cards knowing who I am and what I actually do. Here are some (also, I’m looking to add more pictures. If you have pictures of me dressed as the gnome, forward it to me.):
Now, here’s the disappointing part of the story. During the picture requests, one of them said to me, “How much are you selling?” while I was taking off someone else’s sunglasses, I dropped my Jayson Werth gnome. I was upset, but I wasn’t as upset as the Eff Yeah Jayson Werth Group and they really wanted me to find a replacement gnome. Maybe it was a sign it wasn’t meant to be that I get my own gnome. I didn’t find a replacement, but I was never a hurry because 1) I dropped it. No one’s fault but mine and I brought in all the attention and 2) over 15,000 didn’t get a Werth gnome and as you see above, if I was the consolation prize, I don’t mind that. As for the broken gnome, it is in the hands of my friend, Stefany, who is trying to put it back together. There might be some hope for “my gnome” since it was made of “ash” than in “maple” (translation: it broke into three pieces, not a million). Also, I know some feel pity for me and want me to have a replacement gnome. I love the support and thank you for caring, but I’m fine with or without the gnome. Then again, I’m missing out on making a profit. Then again, I’m glad I’m not this person:
— Jayson Werth’s Beard (@JWerthsBeard) August 7, 2014
As for my quest to win the Fan of the Game for the third time: it was an all-kids edition, so I had no shot (if you’re wondering, my only loss was to a kid last year. Stupid kids! I kid, I kid.)
As for the game, the Nationals lost to the Mets, 6-1, and I will take full responsibility of the Nats lost because I dropped my gnome and bad stuff happened. Also, saw Dan Steinberg and Scott Allen as well, so you know it was a big deal (now, I’m craving for the DMV).
Although the Nats lost, this was the most fun I had in the ballpark in two years and had no clue I had so much support with the gnome look. I had the rainbow mullet wig for over a year. I think I have found a new costume. Oh, for the people who missed out on the Werth gnome, I can be the alternative…but at a reasonable rate 😉
UPDATE: My friends went out of their way to give a replacement gnome from trading their own bobbleheads to even asking Jayson Werth of extra gnomes (we know some people). Alas, Stefany did put the gnome back together and here’s the final result:
Also, I’ll give credit to Kathleen Smith on this, but if you ever want a gnome to do some recruiting work for a day, two days, or a week for employer branding purposes, I can do it. Again, email me if you’re interested.