End of an Era
On August 19, 2013 the Washington Nationals released Roger Bernadina after trading for another left handed outfielder, David DeJesus (who they traded away a few days later). He was one of the only players left from the Montreal Expos organization before they moved to DC and had played his entire six year career with the same team. Bleacher Report summed up the move in an article which also featured Sharkadina: "Roger Bernadina's Release by Washington Nationals Inevitable, but Still Painful."
"The affable Bernadina was a fan favorite. He boasted perhaps the oddest nickname in all of baseball, when considering how he became The Shark, and the goofy headgear that fans wore to honor the nickname."
- Bleacher Report, August 2013
In a bittersweet move, The Shark was quickly picked up by NL East rival The Philadelphia Phillies. DC had to say goodbye to The Shark. The Washington Post summed up his career with the Nats. We, along with all Nats fans, had mixed feelings as we were happy that he would have a chance to have a new start and possibly get more playing time, but did it have to be with the Phillies?
"Bernadina became an oddly cultish figure. Fans dubbed him “The Shark” and waved their arms like jaws when he came to bat or made an acrobatic play. He wore the nickname as a badge of honor."
- Washington Post, August 2013
Three years after we first donned the hoods, it's clear that Roger Bernadina became a fan favorite in Washington. We met a ton of fans who were passionate about their team and embraced The Shark nickname wholeheartedly. We have to thank them, because without them, we would still just be two weird guys who dress up like sharks for a baseball game. Cheering for The Shark made the games more fun for us, and all Nats fans. We hope that when Bernadina heard the "Shark!" chants and saw the crowd chomping it put a smile on his face and made him play a little harder, run a little faster, dive a little farther. We like to think that it did.