The Washington Nationals might have some of the cutest supporters in the major leagues.
Inova Health System, the official hospital network for the Washington, D.C., baseball team, gave out hundreds of Nationals-themed bibs and caps to babies currently in their care. One hospital, Inova Loudoun, went an extra step and arranged a lineup-themed photo shoot.
"Obviously, this is a big deal that we're in the World Series," Melanie Schmidt, a marketing communications executive for Inova Loudoun Hospital, told TODAY. "We were super excited about that, and so we were just brainstorming what to do, as a health system, for all of our incoming babies. We chatted with our partners at the Washington Nationals, and we came up with the little red hats and bibs."
In total, 300 gift bags containing the hats and bibs were sent out across the network. Schmidt said that 30 were distributed within the Inova Loudoun hospital.
It's not entirely unusual for babies in the Inova Health System to be decked out in Nationals gear — Schmidt said that typically, on days like Mother's Day, Father's Day and the Nationals' Opening Day, little gift bags will be handed out to the hospital's smallest residents.
"At Loudoun, we thought, what could we do that was creative? Could we potentially make a batting lineup?" said Schmidt. "We went around and we asked all of our parents... We tried to not disturb as many parents as we could, but anyone who was interested, and we brought the babies into the nursery, lined them up, and had a really, really great photo op."
Schmidt said that even some babies from the neonatal intensive care unit participated in the shoot.
"Parents who were already (in the nursery) were interested, so that's where the little, teeny babies came from," she said. "We were excited to include them, too."
Schmidt said that the parents who participated were thrilled to be involved.
"The first Little Slugger in the line-up, their mom and dad were in the nursery with us, taking pictures over our shoulders as well," Schmidt said. "Dad actually asked if they could take the bat home. We were like, 'Absolutely!' They were super excited to be in the line-up and first in the line-up and to have the little bat and all of that. I noticed, as I was walking down the hallway, lots of parents wearing their spirit gear. Parents were super thrilled to receive the gifts and to be part of the photo-op."
The photo-op from Inova Loudoun Hospital will be featured on the Jumbotron at Nationals Park, the home stadium for the Washington team, during the fourth game of the World Series, which will be played Saturday night at 8 p.m.