Washington toasts World Series-winning Nationals with parade

Washington (AFP) –


Washington set aside politics on Saturday to celebrate the electrifying World Series win by the Nationals, with a sea of red-clad fans, fighter jets and plenty of beer on hand for a victory parade.

Players, along with their family and friends, rode in open-topped tour buses along the route that started at the Washington Monument and ended near the US Capitol. A pair of F-16 jets flew over the gathering to kick off the celebration.

Some of the most devoted fans turned up before dawn to snag a prime viewing spot, according to local media.

The crowd waved signs with the slogan "Fight Finished," while many wore shark costumes in a nod to the team's unofficial theme song, the infectious kids' tune "Baby Shark."

At one point, Manager Dave Martinez jumped off his bus to take a picture with a World War II veteran, the Commissioner's Trophy in hand.

The last time a Washington team won the World Series was 1924, when Calvin Coolidge was president and the Roaring '20s were in full swing. That's when the Senators beat the New York Giants in a dramatic game seven.

Two Senators teams later moved away, and the US capital went 33 years without a club.

This year's Nationals had been given a .01 percent chance by oddsmakers to win the World Series, but they did so in dramatic fashion on Wednesday, coming from behind to beat the Houston Astros 6-2 in the final game of the best-of-seven series.

This being Washington, though, politics wasn't far away as pitcher Sean Doolittle said he plans to skip Monday's White House reception with President Donald Trump.

The 33-year-old closer, known for his liberal beliefs, told The Washington Post in an article published Saturday that his decision was based on Trump's "divisive rhetoric and the enabling of conspiracy theories and widening the divide in this country."