Washington Nationals fans give a special gift to beloved Nationals Park usher

Fans and ushers may not be inside Nationals Park for games this season, but that doesn’t mean all fans and ushers have completely fallen out of touch.

Here’s the deal: back in June, FOX 5 aired a clip with Bradley Saunders, a Washington Nationals usher who had just gotten his World Series ring. “It’s the best gift I ever had, except for having kids and grandkids, but it’s still beautiful though!” Saunders said in the video that was also shared on social media.

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Then a couple of days later, an email came in. “Wonderful to see Bradley rewarded for all he shares with us as fans and ticket holders in section 129! … his smile and spirit are truly infectious.” And then, because Saunders is out of a job for the season, “I am in hopes you can locate Bradley for me as we are cobbling together a small contribution to help him out,” the emailer wrote.

And that’s what led to Monday night.

FOX 5 arranged to interview Saunders in front of the centerfield gates at Nationals Park. When asked when he thought he’d see his beloved fans from section 129 next,  Saunders answered, “Uh, the way things are going, next season,” he replied. “If I can, I’d just like to say hello to Richard, Danny, Dan, Rachel, Shelly, Gary, big Ship, Don, Hugh,” he continued.

But little did Saunders know, he was in for a treat. Two fans from his section were waiting on a Zoom call nearby – Sonny Small, Jr., who’d first spotted the clip with Bradley, and also fellow fan Bo Young, who had sent the initial email.

“Oh my God, what!?” Saunders yelled when he sat down in front of the laptop. “These guys, I used to always tell them, alright don’t tear the place up now. Don’t tear the place up.”

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Young mentioned the time Bradley helped his son, who was on crutches.

“Rob! Your son is Rob!” Saunders remembered. “Oh my God, what!?”

Small told him about the gift, ultimately given from about a dozen people in their section.

“We’re gonna arrange to get that to you in short order,” he said, “but most importantly I hope you’re feeling good and I hope you’re missing baseball as much as we are.”

Bradley then let Small and Young know how much the gesture meant to him.

“Y’all just don’t know how special y’all have made me feel,” he said. “To do something for me, and I’m not even there doing anything for you, see I’m all choked up … hey man, it’s a good feeling. It really is.”

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