Teddy blows it twice to close Nationals’ homestand

Teddy Roosevelt cheats in the Washington Nationals presidents race at Nationals ParkWith a rare late afternoon start and temperatures in the mid-90s for the final game of this week’s homestand, the last thing anybody at Nationals Park probably wanted to do was exert themselves by running a sprint around the full length of the warning track.

So when Teddy Roosevelt saw nothing but green between himself and the presidents race finish line on Wednesday, he chose the easy route, jogging straight across the outfield.

Roosevelt’s hopes for an easy victory were dashed when the speedy Abe Lincoln caught up to him anyway. That’s when Teddy simply threw in the towel — a mistake that cost him when The Great Emancipator tripped and fell, giving George the unlikely victory.

Teddy’s only consolation: He didn’t break a sweat, and had he broken the tape instead of George, he would surely have been disqualified for cheating.

Video courtesy of YouTube member lfahome

Abe & Teddy break away in 3-legged presidents race

Livan Hernandez and the Washington Nationals celebrated the summer solstice with a 2-1 victory Monday night at Nationals Park, and what better to welcome in the summer than that classic summer staple, the 3-legged race.

George Washington was teamed with Thomas Jefferson and Abe Lincoln was teamed with Teddy Roosevelt as the race began.

With their legs tied together, George and Tom took an early lead, but they took a 1/2-minute to reach right field.

Rather than risk violating the MLB limit for time between innings, members of the Nat Pack ran out to cut the ropes. Abe Lincoln broke free first, and bolted ahead of the pack to claim the victory.

Video courtesy of YouTube member lfahome

Teddy gets the royal treatment, sits out Fathers Day

With temparatures in the mid-90s at Nationals Park Sunday afternoon, Teddy Roosevelt, father of six, decided it would be a good opportunity to celebrate Fathers Day as so many dads do — by taking the day off.

Fathers Day at Nationals Park, by Joan JankowskiFor Sunday’s 4th-inning presidents race, George, Thomas, and Abe took to the hot and muggy outfield, but Teddy Roosevelt was in the stands on the first baseline, wearing a Hawaiian shirt and sipping a cold beverage from the Beltway Bar behind section 132, while getting fanned by two members of the Nat Pack.

The scene bothered Abe Lincoln enough that he gave up his lead to
stop and mock Teddy, letting Thomas Jefferson run by him to take the victory.

[YouTube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zEhZ1wUOIQw]

Photo courtesy of Joan Jankowski
Video courtesy of YouTube member TheTeddyRoosevelt

Teddy’s new shoes help him fly like the wind

After Friday night’s game in which they
raced aboard Segways, the Washington Nationals racing presidents put their new bright red running shoes to the test for real on Saturday at Nationals Park.

If anybody seemed to “benefit,” it was clearly Teddy Roosevelt, who put on a burst of speed like we’ve rarely seen from the rough rider.

Unfortunately, it was a velocity our 26th president was not accustomed to, which might explain why he tripped in the outfield, giving up his huge lead.

To Teddy’s credit, he jumped to his feet and still finished the race in 3rd place — a good sign for Teddy fans that the motivation is there. Now all he has to do is stay on his feet.

Photo by Flickr member Bill in DC
Video courtesy of YouTube member lfahome

Racing presidents chase White Sox Southpaw on Segways

The Washington Nationals returned to town Friday night for a short homestand of interleague play against the Chicago White Sox and Kansas City Royals, sandwiched at either end with starts by rookie pitcher Stephen Strasburg.

Chicago White Sox Mascot Southpaw at Nationals ParkPresident Barack Obama joined the sellout crowd on Friday to see his beloved White Sox take on the Nationals new main attraction, and unlike his previous visit to Nationals Park, he stayed until the 9th inning, and got to witness his first Nationals presidents race.

Washington Nationals racing president Teddy Roosevelt rides a Segway during the presidents raceChicago White Sox mascot Southpaw has joined the team in DC for the weekend series, and surprised the crowd by emerging alone out of the gate for the beginning of the 4th-inning presidents race.

Just as the crowd was wondering where the presidents were, they emerged in centerfield aboard Segway personal transporters, with Thomas Jefferson at the front of the pack, and
Teddy sadly lagging far behind.

As they passed Southpaw and approached the finish line, Jefferson appeared to lose control, and Abe Lincoln passed him to claim the victory. As he broke the tape, Illinois’ favorite son pointed up to Obama’s box along the third base line.

The racing presidents were sporting brand new red running shoes to kick off the homestand, but as it turned out, they had no need for them at all.

Teddy fans from Ft. Worth, Texas invade Nationals Park

Teddy Roosevelt cheering section at Nationals ParkA huge and lively group of Teddy Roosevelt fans from Texas led a cheering Nationals Park crowd of 21,767 on Thursday night as Livan Hernandez and the Washington Nationals completed their first series sweep of the season.

No matter where you sat in the Park, their cheers were hard to ignore. Even play-by-play man Bob Carpenter took
notice on the MASN broadcast.

The Hillwood Middle school 8th grade class cheers for Teddy Roosevelt at Nationals ParkThe group included 90 students and their chaperones from Hillwood Middle school in Ft. Worth Texas.

Their U.S. History teacher, Brian Ketcham, stumbled across LetTeddyWin.com in 2009, and showed it to the kids as they were planning their 8th-grade trip to Washington.

Let Teddy Win fans from Hillwood Middle School, Ft. Worth, Texas“We let the kids vote on shirts for the trip,” Ketchum said before the game. “I showed them the blog and they thought it was hilarious. So, they voted for the Roosevelt shirt. We want to cheer on Teddy very loudly.”

And loudly they did, as cheers of “Let’s Go Teddy” and Let’s Go Nationals” reverberated from Upper Deck section 232 throughout the
Random Acts of Red - Texas Teddy fans invade Nationals Parkgame’s final 5 innings.

On Thursday, the group visited the White House (where they ran into the POTUS), the National Zoo, the Holocaust Museum, and the National Archives — all before heading to Nationals Park, but group member Blake Emery declared their Nationals Park visit “the greatest night ever” — a sentiment that seemed to be shared by many.

They are chronicling their adventures at coachketchum.com.

Racing Presidents do the limbo on Ladies Night

Washington Nationals racing president Abraham Lincoln shows off his new Hawaiian shirtThursday night was the first Ladies Night of 2010 at Nationals Park, as ticket-holders were treated to a Hawaiian-themed Luau party on the Rooftop Party Deck before the game.

Not ones to miss out on a good time, the Nationals racing presidents joined in on the fun, donning Hawaiian shirts for the occasion.

After showing off new red racing uniforms in April, this marked another of the new costumes the Nationals promised we’d see in 2010.

The famous Pittsburgh Pierogies were in town for the final game of the series between the Nats and Pirates, but rather than run alongside the presidents during the 4th inning race, they were stationed along the outfield warning track, preparing the Hawaiian-themed antics for the night.

Racing presidents do the limbo at Nationals ParkAfter emerging from the centerfield gate, the racing presidents encountered a limbo pole being held by two pierogies. Teddy Roosevelt went through first, using his stature as the shortest racing president to his advantage, but the Bull Moose ducked the big stick, cheating his way under the pole.

Teddy’s shortcut gave him the lead as they then approached the hula hoops in the outfield corner, but he was too enthralled by the toys to continue, and while too-tall Abe Lincoln continued to struggle with the limbo pole, George Washington and Thomas Jefferson made a mad dash to the finish.

George Washington beats Thomas Jefferson by a Nose in the Washington Nationals presidents raceGeorge and Tom broke the tape together in a photo finish, and Nationals PA Announcer Jerome Hruska was unable to call a winner, deferring to on-field judge and Nationals Mascot Screech.

Screech made the call for George, which our photo suggests was the right call — by a nose.

This video courtesy of YouTube member lfahome captures the photo finish, and at the very end, some members of Teddy’s Texas cheering section that were in attendance Thursday.

Join the Racing presidents at Friday’s free Nats Watch Party

The Washington Nationals have announced their first 2010 Watch Party of the season, for Friday night’s road game vs. the Cleveland Indians.

Beginning at 6:30pm, Nats’ in-game host Clint Khoury will be on hand with the Natmobile, Nationals mascot Screech, members of the Nat Pack, and of course the Racing Presidents, as they join together to watch the Nationals on the road at The Front Page, near the Ballston Metro in Arlington. There will be prize giveaways and $2.00 Miller Lites until 9:30pm.

That Cat, grounds crew create presidents race chaos

How do you follow up on what was arguably the most electric night in team history?

The day after a sellout crowd was mesmerized by Stephen Strasburg’s debut, and Teddy barely missed making a little history of his own, the Nationals racing presidents answered that question by throwing out everything but the proverbial kitchen sink.

Wednesday’s 4th-inning presidents race looked at first like a repeat of the night before.  The “un-racing sausages” joined Pittsburgh’s racing pierogies in a crowded field, and held a lead over the presidents into the final turn.

On this night, however, the critter waiting in ambush was none other than long-time presidential nemesis “That Cat,” who had recruited the Nationals Park grounds crew to the cause.  They stormed onto the field, taking down all of the visiting mascots, and leaving Thomas Jefferson with a clear path to victory.

Video courtesy of YouTube member theteddyroosevelt

On a historic night, Teddy fails to make history of his own

Strasburg's First Major League PitchIt’s safe to say that the Washington Nationals presidents race was not the main event Tuesday at Nationals Park. The mood was absolutely electric as 40,315 came to witness the major league debut of Stephen Strasburg, and despite hype and expectations that seemed impossible to meet, the rookie managed to exceed them, posting one of the greatest pitching debuts in major league history.

Expectations were high for Teddy Roosevelt as well, as many in the crowd expressed their hope that the Bull Moose would do his part to help mark the dawn of a new Nationals era with a 4th-inning victory.

The Nationals pulled out all the stops when the race began, as the “Un-racing sausages” (the Nationals’ parodies of Milwaukee’s famous racing mascots) jumped out of the gate to start the presidents race. The four presidents followed, tailed by Pittsburgh’s own racing pierogies, and a couple of secret service agents on Segways, creating a very crowded field.

Thomas Jefferson and Teddy Roosevelt broke away from the crowded pack early, along with racing sausage Choriz-No. Then Teddy put on a burst of speed, sending the packed house into a frenzy.

That’s when pierogie Cheese Chester appeared along the first base line. It was a familiar site to presidents race fans, and a Teddy ambush looked inevitable.

Chester took a running start as the racers entered the home stretch, but instead of tackling Teddy, Chester ran between the two presidents and put a full-on body slam on Choriz-no.

That left nothing but daylight between Teddy and his first-ever presidents race victory; but in a race to the finish, Teddy ran out of steam, and Thomas Jefferson passed him on the inside to capture the win.

As Tom celebrated, and boos rained down from the sellout crowd, Teddy could do nothing but bend over in shame.

More photos from Tuesday

Video courtesy of YouTube member lfahome.

Nationals invite standing room crowd — and Pierogies — to Strasburg’s debut

As the hype for pitcher Stephen Strasburg’s debut reaches a fever pitch, with media coverage rivaling a league championship series, the Washington Nationals are releasing additional $10 standing room only tickets via the stadium box office this afternoon, ensuring an all-time Nationals Park attendance record will be set tonight.

Pittsurgh's Racing Pierogies at Nationals ParkWith the stands overflowing and the auxiliary press box bursting at the seams, the Nats have still found room to invite a handful of additional non-paying guests — Pittsburgh’s Racing Pierogies — who will no-doubt make an appearance during the 4th-inning presidents race for the 3-game homestand.

A pierogies appearance at Nationals Park was not a foregone conclusion given what happened on their last trip to DC. Just one year ago, in the series finale, the Pittsburgh mascots apparently went off-script, tricking the presidents and winning a race at Nationals Park, the only time no president was declared a winner.

Later in the season, in a relay race at Pittsburgh’s PNC Park, racing pierogie Potato Pete ran onto the field from the stands and delivered a crushing open-field tackle on Teddy Roosevelt, a take-down that ESPN SportsCenter anchor Scott Van Pelt called “the greatest highlight I’ve ever seen.”

Some have speculated that tonight could be Teddy’s big night. In an evening sure to be filled with memorable highlights, let’s hope the Pierogies don’t play the spoiler.

Flickr photo by afagen

Will the Nationals Let Teddy Win on Strasmas Day?

DC sports fans are gearing up for the most hyped debut in Washington sports history, as fans have dubbed Tuesday Strasmas Day in anticipation of the major league debut of pitcher Stephen Strasburg, aka Baseball Jeezus.

With the team expected to choose hitting phenom Bryce Harper today with the #1 pick in baseball’s amateur draft, Nats fans see this week as a symbolic turning point in the short history of the franchise.

The Nationals are surely eager to send the message that a new era has arrived. With a record sellout crowd expected, and every major national media outlet on hand, what better opportunity could the Nats have to let Teddy win? It seems a wise move, both to send a signal to the fans, and to avoid risking a chorus of 41,000 boos during their moment in the spotlight.

Here’s hoping history is made on the warning track as well as the pitcher’s mound.

One character who clearly hopes to prevent it is Abe Lincoln. The all-time presidents race victory leader has set aside his dirty tricks and gone on a tear, earning his 5th consecutive come-from-behind victory Sunday at Nationals Park. Teddy’s eyeglasses fell off his nose, but he gutted it out and finished the race blind. We’re hoping he manages to get them fixed on his off day today. The racing presidents were sporting their traditional period garb for just the second time this season.

Video courtesy of YouTube member lfahome

A birds-eye view of the presidents race

Abe Lincoln extended his winning streak to 4 games at Nationals Park Saturday night, as the Let Teddy Win blog was invited once again to take part in the team’s semi-annual blogger’s night.

Nationals Park video control room

Live coverage of the presidents race from the Nationals Park video control room

For most of the bloggers in attendance, the highlights were likely the myriad interview opportunities with Nats players and management, and the opportunity to cover the game from the press box; but for this Presidents Race Fan, the high point was reporting on the race from the video control room high atop Nationals Park, where the magic is created for the stadium’s live HD scoreboard.

Nationals Park PA Announcer Jerome Hruska calls the presidents race

And the winner is... Abe!!!

It’s safe to say that Nats Park regulars would be blown away by the sheer number of people and skill required to deliver the elaborate graphics and live in-stadium coverage of every race; and speaking of that coverage, those who believe the play-by-play is all scripted need only watch Nationals PA Announcer Jerome Hruska call it live as the race unfolds on the field below.

Unfortunately, down on the field it was deja vu for Teddy fans, as Roosevelt took a huge lead before his glasses fell off, and Abe Lincoln came from behind to win for the 4th night in a row. George Washington fell into the Geico Gecko at the finish line, marking the first time in presidents race history that the sponsor was taken down.

Before the game, I had a chance to speak to catcher Ivan Rodriguez, who guaranteed that he’d be behind the plate for Stephen Strasburg’s debut on Tuesday night. With 3 networks covering and over 200 press credentials issued, the buzz is building for that sellout game. Up in the press box, there was much speculation that Tuesday could be the night for Teddy to end his streak. We can only hope…

A special thanks to Nationals Senior Manager of New Media Chad Kurz for arranging the day.

Here’s the race as seen from the stands, courtesy of YouTube member lfahome:

And here’s the race as edited live in the booth and called by Jerome:

Teddy fails to deliver for 33,774 at Nationals Park

A hot and sticky Nationals Park was packed with fans Friday night as Livan Hernandez and the Nats defeated the the Cincinnati Reds. As well as Livan’s been pitching, the crowd would like have been much smaller had it been known he’d be on the mound when tickets went on sale…

No. Many of the 33,774 in attendance Friday purchased their tickets in anticipation of Stephen Strasburg’s major league debut, which was ultimately pushed to next week. Many of our readers have expressed their hope to see a Teddy Victory when Stephen Strasburg makes his first start at Nationals Park, and perhaps for them, the question was whether Teddy would double the disappointment, or give the big crowd the “I was there” moment they’d hoped for.

Roosevelt came out of the gate fast, and maintained his lead across the outfield warning track, but the Rough Rider faded fast at the turn, as Abe and Tom sprinted past him to the finish.

Lincoln’s third consecutive come-from-behind victory vaulted the Great Emancipator to the top of the standings for the first time since April.

[i]Video courtesy of YouTube member lfahome[/i]

Calling for a Teddy victory Friday night

DC-based musician, blogger, and fellow marketing professional Mike Holden writes in his blog Thursday that Stan Kasten and the Nationals should consider restoring a little dignity for the 40,000-or-so fans who snapped up tickets to Friday night’s game against the Cincinnati Reds based on reports that pitching phenom Stephen Strasburg would be making his major league debut that night.

“What better way is there to reward those in attendance for this non-Strasburg start,” Holden writes, “than with something that’s just as rare as Pitching Jesus?” A Teddy Roosevelt victory, says Holden, still gives the fans “something that some will proudly say they were there in-person for.”

Our readers have speculated variously that Teddy’s mounting losses will come to an end when the the Nats win the division, or make the playoffs, or win the World Series, or even when Strasburg makes his debut; but I’m in Mike’s camp. Reward the faithful. End the suffering. Give us something special. Let Teddy Win tonight!

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