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Twelve cars belonging to Washington Nationals players and employees were broken into early this week at RFK Stadium, with a black Cadillac Escalade owned by outfielder Marlon Byrd stolen out of the gated parking lot.
Marking another embarrassing miscue in an often-difficult assimilation of baseball this season into the operations of the 44-year-old stadium, the luxury cars were vandalized in broad daylight Monday while the team was in Pittsburgh preparing to play the Pirates. The players’ parking lot, surrounded by a locked, chain-link fence, is periodically monitored by RFK security. But the lot, located on the east side of the stadium, does not have a regular guard stationed there.
While Byrd’s Escalade was the only auto stolen, other players and employees suffered theft of contents of their cars such as golf clubs, credit cards and global positioning system navigation devices, as well as broken windows, damaged locks and cracked steering columns.
Players parking at the home stadium before leaving on a road trip is common among major league players. Typically, teams gather at the home stadium and then travel together to the airport to catch their charter flight. Some players, however, choose to take a cab instead in order to keep their vehicles at home.
“I don’t leave my cars here. My cars are way too expensive,” said outfielder Jose Guillen, who owns an Aston-Martin and a Porsche. “I don’t like this area. It’s a weird, weird, weird place here.”
(Posted on June 27, 2005)