When the Nationals hit a home run, submariners in the stands will hear a familiar sound — a dive klaxon.
It blares three times to celebrate each homer, a signal – as any bubblehead will tell you – for emergency surface.
The Nationals’ newest home run celebration honors their military fans and is a homage to the area’s naval heritage. The Washington Navy Yard, one block east of the stadium, was founded in 1799 and is the Navy’s oldest shore base. The horn also serves as a replacement for fireworks, which used to be fired after every homer.
Its sound can be heard on the D.C. Sports Bog blog of The Washington Post, which first reported the Nationals’ sub horn.
“The military is already part of game presentation and the Navy Yard is right next door,” Nationals’ Chief Operating Officer Andy Feffer told the Post, who said it also helps with the team’s branding. “Not only is it unique and distinctive, but it fit. It fit with our goals, and it fits with what Washington is. It’s ours. Someone else can’t copy it and say we’re gonna do that too. It’s Washington’s.”
The Nats recently purchased the horn and already have put it to plenty of use. As of Tuesday, the team has 20 homers this season.
The next step should be to have a retired 688 class SSN on permanent display at the Navy Yard, or even better at the foot of the east stairs from the ballpark. I have yet to visit the USS Barry on display at the Naval Yard (access is less than ideal), but perhaps a retired FFG could round out a new tourist-USN Recruiting centric waterfront alongside the Nats ballpark.