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Doug & Wolf

An All-American vacation

Nationals manager Matt Williams talks with Doug Franz, co-host of Doug & Wolf. (Doug Franz/Arizona Sports)

If you can, you've got to go.

My family vacation was to Washington, D.C.

I sat down with my wife in a dark room looking at the actual Star-Spangled Banner.

We cruised up the Potomac to Mt. Vernon and saw the home of the only man in world history to successfully lead a revolution without a desire to become dictator.

My daughters saw the true price for freedom at Arlington.

I had a picnic dinner with family and friends on the National Mall for the concert and fireworks.

It was the trip of a lifetime for an American father.

If you've listened to the show with any regularity over the last seven years, you also know what the game of baseball means to me. Clearly, baseball is not as important as American independence, Abraham Lincoln's second inaugural address -- which is on the wall of his memorial -- or what the U.S. Capitol stands for.

However, it's impossible to write the history of America without baseball. The World Series being played during two World Wars and a month after the terrorist attacks on New York brought the nation together during a difficult time. The tradition of playing the national anthem at sporting events was started in 1918 at the World Series.

Baseball also gave us the story of Jackie Robinson and its implications.

There's a lot to see in D.C. If you ever get the chance to go, include a game on your trip.

We went to Nationals Park to root against the Rockies. That franchise has got it going. For one, I think all D-backs fans love the manager. And Nationals fans don't yell at you for standing up because they are standing up as well.

The Nationals aren't afraid to honor the organizational history with Andre Dawson and Gary Carter acknowledged in the park while combining that with the history of baseball in the city by placing "Cool Papa" Bell, Josh Gibson and Walter Johnson on a pedestal, as well.

Go to the mall. Go to the museums. Go to the monuments. Go to the game, too.

About the Author


School: Ohio University...Go Bobcats!

When you started with Bonneville Phoenix: 1st Doug & Wolf Show: 1/2/07

Favorite sports memory: Goldschmidt's triple icing the 2011 NL West title because it was a daddy-daughter day at the ballpark and Bellbrook vs. Dunbar '89 when I hit my one varsity HR.

Favorite all-time athlete: as a kid, Magic...as an adult, Grant Hill

Favorite sports movies: Field of Dreams

Best sports road trip: My honeymoon...wedding Saturday...Braves vs. Reds Sunday Night...Cooperstown Monday through Thursday morning...Jennifer sings the Anthem Thursday night at Fenway... Sox/White Sox triple play and cycle in the same game for only the second time in baseball history...Saturday night Clemens strikes out 9 through 7 but the bullpen blows it and the crowd is furious.

Best game I've ever seen live: Suns/Spurs Game 5 2007 Western Semis (the game w/o Amare & Boris). Hated the outcome but loved the experience.

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