- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 7, 2005


A 20-year-old evacuee from New Orleans threw out the first pitch last night before the Washington Nationals game at RFK Stadium.

Before the game, Benjamin Camp, with his father, Clinton, and brother-in-law Derrick Jones were on the field to watch Nationals batting practice and collect players’ autographs. All three were wearing Nationals caps and white home jerseys.

The Camps and Mr. Jones are separated from the women and children in their families, who are staying at a Holiday Inn in Houston.

The men tried to ride out the storm at Mr. Jones’ house because it had a second floor. They stayed seven days in New Orleans, wading through flooded streets, before emergency personnel forced them to leave and evacuated them by boat. The men were flown to the District, where they are staying at the D.C. Armory.

Their most pressing concern is to reunite with their families in the District.

“We’ve got a lot more opportunities than you’re going to have in Texas,” said Clinton Camp, 51. “It’s not a bad place to be until it gets cold. I’m not going to say I don’t want to go back, but if I wouldn’t, this wouldn’t be a bad place to stay. The people have been hospitable to us, real friendly. We’ve been able to walk around the neighborhood pretty safe and peaceful.”

With the Nationals in the heat of a playoff race, Mr. Jones thinks he may be just what the club needs.

“Maybe I’ll be your good-luck charm, you never know,” he said. “You’re 2 games behind? I might bring y’all some luck.”

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