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Martinez shocks fan looking for rain delay information originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

Rain delays are a pain for any baseball fan, especially those who make a trip from out of town to the ballpark.

Michele Crowl, who came with her family from Hockessin, Del., to watch the Washington Nationals take on the Cincinnati Reds, had the unfortunate incident of dealing with a rain delay. 

Once it became 11 p.m., Crowl decided to call the ticket office for more information on whether the game will be suspended or not. After two attempts, Crowl chose to take a different approach to reach an actual person.

“General management office,” Crowl said on the call. Little did she know that her efforts to reach a human to grab some information on the game would lead to her receiving a weather update from Nationals manager Dave Martinez. The Washington Post reported the unique encounter between the fan and manager.

The Nationals skipper stated that the game would likely be suspended. Instead of only providing an update for Crowl, Martinez struck up a conversation with the fan, who was freaking out on the other line. 

Crowl and Martinez had a 20-minute conversation ranging from topics like the Nationals’ 2021 season to how the world will be in a post-coronavirus pandemic. 

“He exudes that sense of empathy and decency, and that only comes when you’re an authentic guy,” Crowl said. 

“If you’ve been around enough, if you’re of a particular age, then you understand when it’s real and when it’s something that’s put on. And it’s real with him. If anything, that phone call is a testament that it is real, and it’s not something that he pretends to be.”

Martinez revealed that no one ever calls his landline, and the only reason he picked up that night is the possibility of an umpire calling to suspend the game officially. 

Nonetheless, after playing 2020 without fans, Martinez revealed how important they are and what they mean to the team. 

“Because we didn’t have any [fans] in 2020, I think we all realize how much they mean to us, the motivation that they give us,” Martinez said. 

“When you get someone like that on the phone, I’m saying to myself, ‘Hey, this is awesome.’ For me to hear them say how much they appreciate what we do and how much they appreciate me, staying so positive, being who I am, it’s nice to hear those things, especially in struggling times.”