Sean Doolittle feeling gratitude ahead of return to Nationals Park

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Doolittle feeling gratitude ahead of return to Nats Park originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

Sean Doolittle makes his long-awaited return to Nationals Park on Tuesday in what should be an emotional event for him and the fans in attendance. 

The main emotion he'll be feeling, though? Gratitude. 

"The biggest one will be gratitude I think," Doolittle told reporters Sunday. "I loved my time with the Nats, I loved everything about it. I loved the way the fans embraced me, I loved the way the guys especially in the training room took care of me. I loved the guys on the team and the support we had for each other."

Doolittle only spent roughly three years with the Nationals but he left a significant mark on the city and its baseball fan base. He was the team's best reliever during his tenure in DC and one of the more colorful personalities on a team full of them.

Related: On two-year anniversary, Doolittle reflects on  Nationals' 19-31 run

At the end of his contract, Doolittle signed a one-year deal with the Reds. Now, he returns to play in front of Nats fans for the first time since the 2019 World Series. 

"I really think it will mostly be just remembering how special that was to be able to win a World Series with that group," Doolittle said. "Seeing fans back at Nats Park I think will be really special as well. I've only just in the last few days allowed myself to think about it a little bit."

There's one matter left unsolved ahead of Doolittle's return, however, and it has the entire Reds bullpen curious. 

"The guys here want to know if I'm gonna get a 'Thank You' video, and they also want to know if the Nats will be able to colorize the video because I'm so old," Doolittle said. "So they're all like, 'Let us know what time the 'Thank You' video is because we want to be out there for it."

It's unclear whether the Nats plan to play a tribute video for Doolittle or if it's going to be in black and white. Still, he doesn't want to come across as someone who's asking for one. 

"That's not my way of asking for a video," he said. "That's [Reds teammates] disrespecting their elders."