Sports

Nats’ First Base Coach Awoken by Sirens at Navy Yard

by Chris Lingebach
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Tony Tarasco #32 of the Washington Nationals looks on during from the dugout during the sixth inning against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park on July 14, 2013 in Miami, Florida. (Credit: Steve Mitchell/Getty Images)

Tony Tarasco #32 of the Washington Nationals looks on during from the dugout during the sixth inning against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park on July 14, 2013 in Miami, Florida. (Credit: Steve Mitchell/Getty Images)

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WASHINGTON (CBSDC) - Many Washingtonians were overcome with emotion as the gripping reality of the tragedy at the Navy Yard set in, but for Nats first base coach Tony Tarasco, the news hit a little too close to home.

Tarasco remembers specifically being awoken by the seemingly endless trail of sirens screeching past his bedroom window, and the fear that set in when he realized they were heading for the Navy Yard where his uncle works.

That was the first thing that popped in my mind,” Tarasco told Nats play-by-play announcer Charlie Slowes on Tuesday. “You know, a tragedy is going on and you’re a little bit in awe, but I immediately picked up the phone and I sent a text out to him and I sent a text out to his wife, and then tried to call both of them, and wasn’t able to get through to either one of them.”

“I’m sure she herself was pretty worried and was on the phone the entire time, and him, he notified me after they let everybody out and evacuated everybody,” Tarasco explained. “He made me aware that he checks his phone in for security reasons when he walks in the building. So he wasn’t able to contact me and let me know he was alright when they were keeping him secure until they cleared the area.”

Tarasco informed Slowes that he initially dismissed the first round of sirens – not an unusual occurrence as an M Street resident – in an effort to salvage what was left of his night’s sleep.

“I was sleeping when I started to hear the sirens go by and the initial wakeup from sirens, thinking maybe it’s a fire or something, and then about twenty minutes into the sirens they just were continuous,” he said. “So I finally got out of bed because I knew there was something serious going on, and took the opportunity to peak out my window and was kind of thrown back and thunderstruck by the line of black cars with flashing lights and the trucks and the SWAT teams that were rolling in.”

“My view kind of lets me see down the street there, so it’s a little scary,” Tarasco said.

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