Forget the Nats: This summer baseball comes to Alexandria

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Baseball gloves, distinctive white pinstripe uniforms, Tiffany lettering … Pat Mallone, president of the Alexandria Aces, would forgive you for mistaking his team for his childhood favorite Yankees he admits to being inspired by their classic look when developing the uniforms and logo for his new team, which has truly been a labor of love.

The Aces kickoff their inaugural season on June 6 against the Herndon Braves at a 7 p.m. home game at Four Mile Run Park. The team is made up of 30 college baseball players from across the country. Nineteen of the teams 42 games will be home games, which means Alexandria residents will have plenty of opportunities to cheer on their new home team. Concessions and souvenirs will be on sale, and with tickets $5 for adults and $3 for kids, Mallone hopes that the games will be an affordable, fun way to spend the summer.

Players are coming to Alexandria because they want to be seen by scouts this is their moment in the sun, Mallone said. The Alexandria location will provide the players with some unique opportunities, he added, including a tour of the capitol and a chance to play in both local Major and Minor League ballparks.

The team was born on June 16, 2006, recalled Mallone. He was working at SportsFan in Bethesda at the time, and while listening to a college game on the radio, he thought it would be cool to bring affordable, fun, family entertainment to Alexandria, and things went from there. He contacted Don Dinan, a partner with Roetzell & Andress who is acting as chairman and CEO of the team and providing financial backing, and set up a 10-member board. Its been a small snowball rolling down a really big snowbank, Mallone said. He praised the board, saying, Its been a blessing to work with a people who say, ok, lets run with your idea.

The team, a 501C 3 nonprofit, hopes to work in conjunction with the city to help support baseball in Alexandria. Baseball in the city is dying there are only five fields, theres nowhere to play, Mallone said. He wants to change that with fundraisers that can then be used in a private-public partnership to fix up fields and get kids playing again.

From my standpoint, Mallone said, I just want to bring the joy of the game to kids.

The bottom line is we want everyone who comes to Four Mile to have a good time, he said.

We think we have a very strong, very competitive team that will make Alexandria proud.

The players will begin arriving in Alexandria this weekend, and the team is still looking for host families. Mallone stressed that the only requirements were to have a bed and a washer and dryer available. Anyone interested in showing some Alexandria hospitality to the Aces can contact Catherine Roper at 703-966-7202.

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