Schwarber 'thankful' for time with Nationals

Former Nat returns to park as visitor; Media Award winners honored ahead of series opener

October 2nd, 2021

WASHINGTON -- Kyle Schwarber only needed three months to make a major impact on the Nationals' season.

“It was definitely quick, but [I am] very thankful for my time here,” Schwarber said from the visitors' side of Nationals Park on Friday.

The Nats traded Schwarber to the Red Sox in exchange for right-hander Aldo Ramirez, ranked their No. 10 prospect per MLB Pipeline, in a roster overhaul at the Trade Deadline. Schwarber had one of the hottest bats in all of baseball prior to sustaining a right hamstring strain in early July, and the playoff-chasing Red Sox hoped for a late-season spark when he returned. This weekend, Schwarber finds himself in a down-to-the-wire postseason competition while his former team is trying to play spoiler.

“It’s definitely a little fiasco,” he said. “But as a baseball player, you don’t want anything else besides to be in a playoff race. That’s what it’s about. I love that. I’m about winning. … Even though it is against the Nats, I’m excited to be here and try to help the Red Sox win these games.”

The Nationals recognized Schwarber for his contributions with a pregame thank you video in the series opener. Fans rose to their feet in acknowledgement of his historic home-run-hitting tear, which included 16 homers in June that earned him National League Player of the Month honors and his first All-Star selection.

“It was a special month,” Schwarber said. “It obviously got me locked in and feeling things that you haven’t felt in your career.”

On Friday, Schwarber got to say hello to teammates and members of the coaching and training staff who he did not have the opportunity to say goodbye to when he was traded the evening before the Deadline.

“I definitely tried to make roots here,” Schwarber said. “I wanted to get involved in the community. I wanted to try to help bring a championship here. I wanted to be myself, and that’s me playing hard. And I think the fans received that pretty well. I have a lot of respect for the fans here and the players and the organization.”

Sixth annual Media Award winners honored
The recipients of the 2021 Media Awards, voted on by members of the local media, were presented in a pregame ceremony to open the final homestand of the season. Juan Soto was named Player of the Year, Kyle Finnegan was named Pitcher of the Year and Josh Bell earned the Good Guy Award (for work in the community, representing the Nationals with class on and off the field and professional dealings with the media). It remains to be seen if Soto takes home more hardware after this season -- he is in contention for the NL batting title and MVP Award.