The Washington Nationals and Boston Red Sox will play an April 1 exhibition game at the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. The Nationals announced the news as part of a three-year agreement. They'll play exhibition games at the Naval Academy in 2018 and '19 as well.
"One of the Nationals' core community platforms is to support the military," team owner Mark Lerner said in a statement, "which we do through a variety of initiatives, including our in-game Salute to Service, Military Branch Days, and visits by players and coaches to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. It will be an honor for our players and coaches to take part in these games at the Naval Academy, in front of the brave men and women who have committed to serve our country."
The exhibition is scheduled for 2 p.m. ET and it will be broadcast nationally on ESPN. The game is not open to the public, however. CBS Washington says tickets will be distributed to Naval Academy midshipmen and select members of the Navy.
"We're really excited about this partnership with the Washington Nationals to have the opportunity to showcase the Naval Academy on a national stage," said vice admiral Walter Carter Jr., 62nd superintendent of the United States Naval Academy, in a statement.
Red Sox chairman Tom Werner added: "As a team that has had a number of players who served in the Navy in two world wars, most notably Ted Williams, we are honored to be part of this special exhibition at the Naval Academy and to play in front of hundreds of midshipmen."
Max Bishop Stadium, home of the Naval Academy's baseball team, will host the game. It seats 1,500 fans and is named after Max Bishop, the team's coach from 1937-61. The field is turf, not grass.
The Braves and Marlins played a regular-season game at Fort Bragg last July. A new ballpark was built for that game, which was then converted into a multipurpose recreational facility for families on base.