Opening Day 2022 for the Washington Nationals was significant for more than what transpired on the diamond. Max Scherzer made his return to Nationals Park while donning New York Mets threads for the first time in his career.
Though Scherzer didn’t start for New York on Opening Day after tweaking his hamstring late in spring training, he’ll get the nod for Friday in the second game of the series. Washington honored their former ace with a video tribute prior to the first pitch on Thursday.
Scherzer and Nationals fans likely felt touched by the video. That should be expected given all that the ace accomplished during his career for the Curly Ws.
"You get used to it. You get used to playing for another team," Scherzer said postgame, before the video aired. "You go out there and just compete and have fun. Lot of good memories here. There always will be good memories here, but nothing lasts forever. As my baseball journey goes on, I'm here in New York and excited about what the future holds."
After arriving in Washington in 2015, Scherzer went on to play out one of the most successful and storied tenures in franchise history. He was named an All-Star seven times, won two Cy Young awards, led the NL in strikeouts three times and wins twice, and of course, led the Nationals to their 2019 World Series victory.
NBC Sports Washington recently named ‘Mad Max’ as one of the four faces who would grace a Mount Rushmore of D.C. baseball lore.
Though Scherzer was one of the most successful pitchers in baseball as a National, Washington fans will hope he's not his dominant self against them this season. He’s now a Met, meaning his squad is set to face their NL East division rivals 19 times during the regular season.
Still, no matter the outcome of those matchups, Scherzer has cemented his place in the hearts of D.C. baseball fans everywhere.