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VIERA, Fla. (WUSA9) -- In this video, WUSA9 Sports Dave Owens introduces you to a group of Nats fanatics, who drove 12 hours to see the team in Viera, Florida. One of the die-hard fans says he didn't miss a game last season.

On Sunday, they woke up early to stand outside of the gate, hoping to catch a glimpse of the Nationals players and get an autograph.

Most of the time they were closer to the water fowl than the Nationals players but their patience paid off as one player walked up to the gate, and gave them an autograph. He told Owens, "Like we live for it, they live for it."

Spring training games begin next Saturday. The Nats face the Mets.

Twenty Nationals games will air on WUSA9 this season.