Teddy skips presidents race to assist grounds crew

Washington Nationals racing president Teddy Roosevelt skipped the presidents race to help the Nationals Park grounds crewPerhaps racing president Teddy Roosevelt was just tired from yesterday’s big win vs. the Orioles bird, but today at Nationals Park a lot of Teddy fans were disappointed to see our #26 give up any chance of building on last night’s momentum.

Through the early innings of today’s game vs. the Baltimore Orioles, Teddy was seen on the field with the grounds crew, pitching in and raking the turf to the best of his awkward ability.

Washington Nationals racing president Teddy Roosevelt skips the race to help the grounds crewWhen the runners were introduced for the 4th inning presidents race, Teddy was not there to take the field. Instead he was shown on the Nationals Park high-definition scoreboard, driving a Toro in circles and playing with the grounds crew equipment.

Unlike last night, there were enough participating presidents to make this last presidents race of the homestand official. Abraham Lincoln overtook Thomas Jefferson to resume his winning ways, keeping Abe on pace to set a presidents race record for victories in a season.

Flickr photos courtesy of Nats fans Miss Chatter and afagen
Video by YouTube member VelocityAtrocity

Teddy Wins!

Teddy Wins unsanctioned presidents race vs. Orioles Bird at Nationals ParkTeddy Roosevelt had never won a race at Nationals Park (at least not without being disqualified for cheating); but tonight a packed house got to cheer as our beloved #26 came from behind and crossed the finish line to claim victory in a 1-on-1 grudge match vs. The Bird from Baltimore.

It was a night of firsts, starting with the first Washington Nationals home game since July of 2006 not to feature an official presidents race. The “unsanctioned” event was announced only yesterday, after Teddy was tripped by the Orioles mascot, robbing him of a presidents race victory.

Nationals Park Scoreboard Statistics for Teddy Roosevelt and the Orioles BirdWith the outfield scoreboard displaying the two contestants’ vital statistics (Moustache-span: 2.5 ft), the racers were introduced and Teddy appeared from the centerfield gate draped in an American flag. The Bird got a huge jump out of the gate, but Teddy quickly turned on the afterburners. As they raced past the centerfield wall flashing “TED-DY,” Teddy passed The Bird to run away with it in the home stretch.


It was the unquestioned highlight for Nationals fans in an otherwise depressing 9-1 loss to the Orioles. No, this one doesn’t count in the standings (if there was any doubt, it was removed when the “The Presidents Racing Association of America” announced the fact shortly after the race), but one can hope that Teddy’s come-from-behind victory will serve as momentum and inspiration.

Photo courtesy of flickr user The West End
Video by YouTube users theblackdog2071 and 3031oaktown

I’m sick about Teddy and I need your help!

Nationals Park will be rockin’ with Teddy Roosevelt supporters tonight, which is why I am beside myself that I can’t be there. I’ve been sick at home, hoping to recover, but it’s clearly not happening.

Washington Nationals Teddy vs. the Baltimore Orioles BirdTonight is the grudge match — an “unsanctioned” race between Teddy Roosevelt and Baltimore’s Bird in the middle of the 4th inning of tonight’s “Battle of the Beltways” at Nationals Park. The challenge was issued by Teddy after The Bird tripped him in the home stretch of last night’s presidents race.

I really have a feeling that Teddy’s going to win this thing, and I want to be there to witness him cross the finish line a legitimate winner. The game should be a sellout. Imagine 42,000 fans cheering Teddy across the finish line and putting the Baltimore Oriole to shame.

Washington Nationals racing president Teddy Roosevelt. There are so many questions. Will there be an actual presidents race, or will there only be this “unsanctioned” showdown? What tricks does Teddy have up his sleeve for The Bird? Will Teddy win? If he doesn’t, will the fans ever let That Bird back into Nationals Park?

Sadly, I have to watch from home. I’m counting on all of you to cheer for Teddy, and to be the eyes and ears of the presidents race blog. Wear your Teddy t-shirts and wave your Teddy signs. Bring your cameras and camcorders and share the results tonight. Most of all, have fun! Go Nats! Go Teddy!

After tripping incident, Nationals’ Teddy Roosevelt challenges The Bird to “unsanctioned race” on Saturday.

Washington Nationals vs. Baltimore Orioles Battle of the BeltwaysThe over 35,000 fans who packed Nationals Park for the opening game of the “Battle of the Beltways” series between the Washington Nationals and the Baltimore Orioles were treated to a spectacle of presidential proportions on Friday night.

Teddy Roosevelt’s supporters were out in full force, with Teddy signs throughout the stands and chants of “Teddy, Teddy” heard on a number of occasions. The fans were not disappointed when the 4th inning
Washington Nationals presidents race - Teddy is tripped by The Birdpresidents race kicked off, as Teddy Roosevelt took a commanding lead out of the gate and drew cheers as he rounded the warning track in right field.

Even the Baltimore Oriole mascot jumped onto the field to cheer for Teddy as he approached the finish line. Or so it seemed.

As Teddy Roosevelt neared the finish, The Bird stuck out a claw and tripped him, sending him reeling onto the dirt, as George Washington and the other racing presidents flew by. George took the victory and a bow as Teddy and The Bird scuffled along the baseline.

One inning later, a “press conference” was shown on the outfield high-definition scoreboard, announcing a grudge match between Teddy and The Bird. Teddy challenged The Bird to an “unsanctioned race” to be held during the 4th inning of Saturday night’s game between the Orioles and Nationals.

This unsanctioned event was then promoted repeatedly throughout the evening. It makes one wonder what surprises are in store for Saturday night.

Video of race and “press conference” by YouTube member QuakerWildcat:

The Washington Nationals are clearly pulling all the stops to make this a big weekend. Washington Nationals Saturday night moviesIn addition to the special presidents race between Teddy and The Bird (which the announcer described “the race of the century”) on Saturday night the Nationals are kicking off Nationals Park Saturday Night Movies. On select Saturday nights throughout the season, the Nationals will play a feature film after the game on the high-definition scoreboard. Concessions and parking will remain open during the movie, and fans are encouraged to move to any open seat on the 3rd base side of Nationals Park (presidential seats excepted).

But the big attraction is clearly the race itself. Let’s all show up on Saturday night prepared to root for Teddy Roosevelt as he takes on The Bird in this “unsanctioned” event. It’s sure to be a really good show.

Presidents Race Standings Now in High-Definition

Now those of you who go to the Washington Nationals games at Nationals Park don’t have to rely on our standings page to track presidents race results. On Wednesday night, for the first time since the Nationals moved to their new stadium, the presidents race standings were featured on the on the centerfield wall scoreboard. For some reason, it took the Nationals a full half of the home season to bring back this tradition which we’d come to expect at RFK Stadium.

Washington Nationals presidents race standings on the outfield wall during the presidents race at Nationals ParkBetter yet, the Nationals have begun showing the current standings during the presidents race. It looks awfully cool as the presidents race by the 14-foot high out-of-town scoreboard wall. I’m sure the team figured that if you were looking for score updates from around the league during the presidents race, then you had to be a loser anyway.

Has it come to this?

It’s a sad state of affairs when our beloved Mount Rushmore racing presidents have to resort to violence to make the news.

Washington Nationals presidents raceFrom flickr member bullneck comes this disturbing photo of Tuesday night’s presidents race, in which Abe and Teddy used a trip wire to take down Thomas Jefferson and George Washington. The composition was featured as the DCist photo of the day.

Mercifully, the violence took the night off last night as Teddy Roosevelt grabbed a big lead on his own in the 4th inning presidents race. Unfortunately, a penguin (or more precisely, somebody in a rally penguin costume) caught his eye along the right field line, and Teddy followed it into the stands, giving Abe Lincoln the window he needed to steal the victory once again.

Of Note: At the half-way mark of the first home season at Nationals Park, Abe Lincoln has matched his entire win total of last year, taking 22 of the first 41 presidents races and showing no signs of slowing down.

Video by vimeo member Ed

New video of Tuesday’s presidents race takedown

Thanks to Vimeo member tigerlilies for capturing great video of Tuesday night’s melee between the racing presidents at Nationals Park (video added to the presidents race videos page).

Racing Presidents Are Not Inspired by Angels

With Angels in town this week, the racing presidents have been anything but.

On Monday night, our favorite mascots upped the ante in the quest to win the presidents race when Teddy Roosevelt and George Washington all but mugged Abraham Lincoln in the outfield, allowing Tom to take the victory. This just one night after Teddy was hip-checked into the outfield wall by Thomas Jefferson.

washington nationals presidents race teddy and abe tripping thomas jefferson.Tonight Abe Lincoln got his revenge on a seemingly trusting Teddy. Yes, Honest Abe himself joined forces with Teddy by setting up a trip wire to take down George and Tom. Of course, Abe then pushed Teddy aside to take his 21st presidents race of this young Washington Nationals’ season.

If this is the sort of behavior inspired by the Angels, I can’t imagine what will happen when the Orioles come to town on Friday.

Photo by flickr member Bullneck.

Abe Lincoln is Finally Beaten By Teddy… Literally !

It’s beginning to get ugly.

During the presidents race last night at Nationals Park, Teddy Roosevelt and George Washington decided to take things into their own hands.

Fed up with Abe Lincoln’s winning streak and increasingly arrogant showboating, Teddy and George wasted no time last night, knocking down Abe before he even reached the GEICO logo in centerfield, and giving him a beat-down as Thomas Jefferson ran uncontested to the finish line.

Abe did not finish the race and his condition is unknown. With five games left in the current homestand, one has to hope this doesn’t escalate any further.

Thomas Jefferson hip checks Teddy Roosevelt

It’s fairly safe to say that Teddy Roosevelt has nobody but himself to blame for his presidents race losing streak. Time after time, our beloved #26 has fallen short but taken the loss, kept his head up, and come back the next day to try again (sometimes try a little too hard).

That’s why yesterday’s display seemed so out of place. On Sunday at Nationals Park, Thomas Jefferson, never known to be a cheater himself, gave the bull moose a serious hip check as they ran across the outfield warning track. Abe Lincoln once again turned on the afterburners to claim a sweep of the Nationals’ home series against the Texas Rangers.

It seems unlikely, but could it be that the other presidents are starting to see Teddy as a threat?

Video by YouTube member ffwdrob.

Kangaroo Distracts Teddy from Presidents Race Victory

On Saturday night at Nationals Park, Teddy took a lead into the right field turn, but lost that lead when he ran into the corner of the outfield and emerged with a toy kangaroo. Abe Lincoln dashed by and won the race as Teddy attempted to hop to the finish line. I missed this spectacle and can’t quite explain the kangaroo. Does anybody have photos?

UPDATE: Video by YouTube member VelocityAtrocity:

New Scoreboard Walk Is Quite the Distraction for Teddy

Last night a crowd of over 30,000 welcomed the Washington Nationals back from an extended road trip and were treated to a 14-inning thriller capped by another walk-off game-winner by Elijah Dukes. The game was the first of the year to feature two presidents races, a treat reserved for faithful Nationals fans who stick it out when the game goes for more than 13 innings at Nationals Park.

Unfortunately, Teddy was the one president who saw only one race last night. When George, Tom, and Abe emerged from the centerfield gate in the 4th inning, Teddy Roosevelt was caught on the high-definition scoreboard carousing in the upper deck with some female Nationals fans. He was participating in the grand opening of the new Miller Lite Scoreboard Walk, a lively bar area located behind the scoreboard in right center field.

Abe, meanwhile, took a huge lead and stopped to do jumping jacks at the finish line, crossing the tape in time to secure the win.

Thanks to YouTube user natan1401 for capturing it on video.

In Praise of the Ben’s Chili Bowl Half-Smoke

I must admit that I was among those uninformed who just didn’t get it.

Don’t get me wrong. When it was first announced that the new Nationals Park would feature Ben’s Chili Bowl among the restaurant concessions, I was pleased. I’d always wanted to pay a visit to the legendary Ben’s, but despite best intentions, had yet to do so.

The crowd in front of Ben’s Chili Bowl at Nationals Park on opening night.

Plus, I figured anything we could call our own and help make Nationals Park a uniquely DC experience was a good thing.

Then I got my first glimpse of the famous Ben’s half smoke chili dog on opening night, along with the horrific lines at the the Ben’s Chili Bowl stand behind the 3rd base line, and thought this doesn’t look that special, and certainly can’t be worth the wait.

Well, let the record state that I am now officially a convert. I took a group of people
from my office to Nationals Park on a chilly May evening, and from our perch that night in section 418, I indulged in my first Ben’s Chili Bowl half smoke (all the way, of course). Perhaps it was the altitude in the upper right field gallery, but I felt a little closer to heaven.

A Ben’s Chili Bowl half smoke “all the way” (with chili, cheese, onions, and mustard) has been a staple of each subsequent visit to Nationals Park.

A word to the wise: If you’re heading the the park an want to indulge yourself, don’t be intimidated by the long lines at the Ben’s Chili Bowl stand. You can get yourself an authentic Ben’s half smoke at ANY “Nats Dogs” stand or cart throughout the stadium.

Extra napkins recommended.

Photos by flickr users Scott Ableman and stvmasters

Fred Malek, Teddy Roosevelt Fan

Fred MalekFred Malek (www.fredmalekblog.com) is well known to long-time supporters of DC baseball, having led a team of local investors in a bid for ownership of the Washington Nationals. Now, in addition to his many other day-to-day responsibilities, Fred Malek is once again in the news as national finance committee co-chair of John McCain’s presidential campaign.

Still a steadfast Washington Nationals fan, Fred Malek revealed before the season that he is a fan of Teddy Roosevelt and the Nationals’ presidents race. Malek recently agreed to share his thoughts about the Washington Nationals — and about Teddy Roosevelt’s prospects for entering the real president’s race.

Q: Have you been to Nationals Park and what do you think of it?

Fred Malek: It’s a jewel of a stadium. As a baseball fan and as a long-time Washingtonian, I feel in my heart that this stadium is one of the proudest accomplishments of our community. It’s a wonderful place to watch baseball. I will predict that one day soon the Washington Nationals will host the All-Star Game. Hopefully, also the World Series. Of course, the next step for the stadium will be giving it a permanent name. I doubt I’ll realize my lifelong dream of having a stadium called Fred Malek Field.

Q: How do you get to Nationals Park? Metro, Nats Express, or Valet parking?

Fred Malek: I drive and find what I can.

Q: What grade would you give the Lerner family as the new owners of the Washington Nationals?

Fred Malek: I’d give them an “A.” Of course, I wish I was on the winning team for the competition to own the Nationals. It was a pleasure to work with a visionary leader like Mayor Tony Williams and all the members of my Washington-based ball group team. That said, I am pleased that the team is in the hands of strong local owners like the Lerner family, with a solid team president like Stan Kasten. I’m also satisfied with the way the management team has kept salaries under control. Runaway salaries are a big issue in baseball today. The Washington Nationals are proof that you can have a team with a lot of heart and will to win, but with respectable salary levels. Not many teams can boast that. As far as individual players go, I think Ryan Zimmerman is someone they need to hold on to forever. They can build a future around that kid.

Q: What would you do differently if you ran the team?

Fred Malek: That’s easy: I’d mandate that Teddy win. If he doesn’t, I’d probably fire Abe, George, and Tom, and have Teddy just compete against the Geico Gekko.

Q: The Washington Post called you “one of Washington’s ultimate insiders.” If that’s the case, can’t you arrange for Teddy to win?

Fred Malek: I can do lots of things in politics, business, and philanthropy. But inspiring Teddy to greatness? That’s something even I can’t do.

Q: Do you think big-headed Teddy could have a chance as a write-in candidate in the 2008 general election?

Fred Malek: My guy is John McCain. And his guy is Teddy Roosevelt. So how about just putting big-headed Teddy on the ticket? I’d be for that, but first he has to show at least one victory. In politics and business alike, we don’t reward failure.

Fred Malek Article on DiggPhoto of Fred Malek from fredmalekblog.com.

Presidents race nominated again for best on-field promotion

It’s not necessarily a compliment to Stan Kasten to say that the presidents race is the best thing the Washington Nationals have going, but let’s just say that with half the starters on the DL and the team flirting with the worst record in baseball, the awards this year will be few and far between.

Washington Nationals racing presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Abe LincolnRegular readers know that the Washington Nationals presidents race was named best on-field promotion of 2007 by Gameops.com, a web site which connects sports teams and
event producers with ideas and tools
for on-field promotions.

GameOps editor John Cudo, who works for the Cleveland Cavaliers
and himself spent 7 years as the
mascot for the Minnesota Timberwolves, reported this week that the Washington Nationals presidents race has been nominated again for best on-field promotion of 2008.

Cudo has written numerous times about the presidents race and claims a “mild addiction” to the Let Teddy Win blog, calling it “a season long tutorial on how to keep a promotion you do every night interesting.”

According to Cudo, the annual Best Of awards are among the most popular features of their site. Nominations come from readers and are judged by a panel of industry leaders and insiders. “The decision (last year) was overwhelming and simple,” Cudo told me via email. “Nearly everyone who had an opinion held the race in DC in very high regard.”

I’m rooting for the racing presidents to pull off the repeat. It may be Teddy’s best chance to claim a victory this year.

Photo by flickr member melanie.phung

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