In her fifth year as a ticket taker for the Washington Nationals, Deneen Campbell continues to exhibit tremendous enthusiasm while greeting fans at her post near Home Plate Gate. According to Campbell, she can’t picture working anywhere else because for her, Nationals Park is home.
“The Nationals and I, we’re like family,” said Campbell. “I’m not trading them for anyone. This is me right here. This is my family when I’m here at Nationals Park.”
She enjoys meeting the thousands of fans who stroll through her gate for every baseball game, including a popular television personality who happened to enter the ballpark through the Home Plate Gate.
“I remember [local news anchor] Jim Vance came through with his family, and the way he came through, I didn’t know it was him at first,” said Campbell. “I had to look again, and I was like, ‘Wow! Jim Vance actually came through my gate!’”
Memories like these are endless for Campbell. From interacting with the fans, to constantly learning new things on the job, she wouldn’t trade it for the world. This season, she even stepped out of her comfort zone as a ticket taker to serve as an usher for the first time – an experience she was especially proud of.
“I love working here,” said Campbell. “I would never turn [this job] away. No matter what goes on, I’m coming back. I’ve got to come back because this is like my family.”
Having lived in Southwest DC for 13 years, Campbell has witnessed the team’s impact on the area since the ballpark’s construction began in 2006. She recalls the transformation from a disheveled, vacant lot to the beautiful facility it is today, but more importantly, she appreciates the effect the team has had on the community as whole.
“[The Nationals] really did a whole lot for us down here in Southwest,” said Campbell.
For the Nationals, Campbell is a local ambassador whom they can count on to provide a welcoming smile and help extend the family connection to the team’s fans.
By Megan Schneider