Photos & Video from Star Wars Day at Nationals Park: Jedi Knights, stormtroopers, an epic battle between costumed racing presidents, and Teddy Roosevelt dressed as a Wookie

Sunday was the first Star Wars Day at Nationals Park. The Nats transformed every aspect of the fan experience into an intergalactic voyage, but the hit of the day by far was the Nationals’ racing presidents, who dressed as characters from the movies and were swarmed by the sellout crowd wherever they went.

Despite the brutally hot weather and the 5-0 beating that the team took at the hands of the Los Angeles Dodgers, it’s fair to say that the promotion was a resounding success, though when it came to the 4th-inning presidents race, the Nats forgot two important rules: the good guys always prevail, and you always let the wookie win.

More on that in a moment, but since a picture is worth a thousand words, here without further ado is our photo compendium of the Nats Star Wars Day.

First, representing the evil empire:

Nats racing president “Honest” Abraham Lincoln was Darth Vader (of course):Nationals Star Wars Day Darth Vader Abraham Lincoln

Nats racing president George Washington as Darth Maul:Darth Maul Nationals Star Wars Day

Nats racing president William Howard Taft as Boba Fett:Nationals Star Wars Day Racing Presidents Boba Fett

Next, representing the good guys:

Nats racing president newcomer Calvin Coolidge as Luke Skywalker:Nats Star Wars Day Luke Skywalker Racing Presidents Calvin Coolidge

Nats racing president Thomas Jefferson as, yes, Princess Leia:Nationals Star Wars Day Princess Leia Racing Presidents Jefferson

…and Nats racing president Teddy Roosevelt as Chewbacca the wookie:Nationals Star Wars Day Teddy Roosevelt Chewbacca Wookie

The inspired costume for Teddy was a seeming nod to the Let Teddy Win movement, leading some in the stands to adopt a “Let the Wookie Win” chant during the 4th inning race, a reference to this notable clip:

The costumes certainly didn’t stop with the racing presidents. Actors posing as Luke, Han, Leia and all of your favorite characters were stationed throughout Nationals Park to pose for photos with fans, but the most overwhelming presence was that of the evil empire, which stationed stormtroopers, imperial guards and officers both on and off the field.

Darth Vader makes his entrance:Darth Vader Nationals Star Wars Day

Imperial guards, officers, and stormtroopers:Washington Nationals Park Star Wars Day Costumes

Emperor Palpatine and the evil galactic empire deliver the lineup card for the Dodgers: Nationals Star Wars Day evil dodgers

Bryce Harper is surrounded by Stormtroopers during the national anthem:Nationals Star Wars Day Bryce Harper

R2D2 in the house: Nationals Star Wars Day R2D2

Jedi Master Screech the Eagle: Nationals Star Wars Day Screech

Fans got creative in ways too numerous to mention, and several were selected to go on the field and help introduce the players.

Star Wars Day Nationals Park fans costumes

Nationals Star Wars Day Costumes

Nationals Park Star Wars Day Costumes

On Nats HD, PA announcer Jerome Hruska used a voice filter to sound more like Yoda, and introduced the epic battle to come in classic Star Wars fashion. When it came time to introduce the players, every Dodger was represented as an imperial stormtrooper, while every member of the Nationals was given the hero treatment.

Nationals Park Star Wars Day Scoreboard

Washington Nationals Park Star Wars Day

Nationals Park Star Wars Day Max Scherzer

Finally, there was that matter of the presidents race. The fourth inning ritual started with the famous Star Wars Cantina music, and then pitted the galactic empire against the rebel alliance as Darth Vader (Abe Lincoln), Boba Fett (William Howard Taft), and Darth Maul (George Washington) took on Princess Leia (Thomas Jefferson), Chewbacca (Teddy Roosevelt), and Luke Skywalker (Calvin Coolidge) in a relay race.

Teddy (Chewbacca) handed Coolidge (Skywalker) a big lead in the anchor leg, but George (Darth Maul) passed Cal and engaged him in a light saber battle on the first base line.

Racing Presidents Star Wars Day Luke Skywalker Darth Maul

Cal lost his light saber, George took the win, and in keeping with what transpired on the field, the evil empire prevailed.

Video for LetTeddyWin.com by lfahome

Nationals Park introduces Pepe Food Truck by chef José Andrés

The Nationals’ debuted another new local food option for fans at Nationals Park with the introduction of Pepe Food Truck by celebrity Spanish chef José Andrés.

Jose Andres Pepe Truck Nationals Park

Jose Andres Pepe Truck Nationals Park Pollo Frito

The spicy and rich Pollo Frito at Pepe Food Truck

Jose Andres Pepe Truck Nationals Park Mushroom sandwich

The Elana, featuring Portobello mushrooms and carmelized onions on crispy bread

The truck, named “favorite truck in all of Washington” by Washingtonian Magazine, made its debut inside the right field plaza outside the new team store on Friday night.

Like the popular celebrity sandwich stand G by Mike Isabella on the first base side of the concourse, the small menu features a handful of premium-priced sandwiches with gourmet ingredients.

Pepe by José Andrés stands out from other food options at Nationals Park in three significant ways. First, unlike other sandwich stands in the Park, the sandwiches here are served piping hot. On Friday night, even after a long walk back to the opposite side of the stadium, our sandwiches were hot and toasty, but a welcome departure from the typical pre-made sandwich or frigid bun.

Second, the menu will not be fixed. On Friday night, the four sandwiches included a spicy fried chicken sandwich, a confit chicken breast sandwich with bacon, a rich “sausage burger”, and a dynamite vegetarian sandwich with portabello mushrooms and carmelized onions on a delightfully crispy bun.

Finally, you won’t find Pepe Food Truck at every game. In true food truck fashion, you’ll have to pounce at the opportunity when you see it, because it may be gone the next minute. Pepe won’t be at Nationals Park on Saturday, but they’ll be back for Sunday’s series finale.

Friday’s Menu:

Jose Andres Pepe Truck Nationals Park Menu

Calvin Coolidge Bobblehead added to Washington Nationals promotion schedule

The Washington Nationals will give away Calvin Coolidge bobbleheads to the first 25,000 fans in attendance at the September 21 game vs. the Baltimore Orioles.

Calvin Coolidge Bobblehead Washington NationalsThe giveaway was revealed as part of the Nationals’ ongoing partnership with the White House Historical Association, which includes signage on the Nationals Park left-field garage honoring a Coolidge first pitch, in-game White House history quizzes, and promotion of the annual Official White House Christmas ornament (which this year honors the 30th president).

The team announced the addition of Coolidge as the sixth of the racing presidents on Wednesday.

When the Orioles visit Nationals Park, tickets are often at a premium, and the addition of the team’s first Coolidge bobblehead makes it a hotter ticket still. On StubHub, ticket prices have already risen for the Monday night game.

Our promotion/giveaway schedule has been updated accordingly.

Nationals Park to debut new team store and food concession Tuesday (menu)

The Washington Nationals announced that the long-awaited opening of the new flagship Nationals Park team store will arrive Tuesday night as the Nats open a homestand vs. the New York Yankees.

Nationals Park Virginia Country KitchenAlso opening Tuesday is the newest locally-themed concession, Virginia Country Kitchen, behind section 113 on the 3rd base side, serving buttermilk biscuit sandwiches, house made kettle chips, and Virginia-made beverages.

The new team store on the centerfield plaza has been under contruction since before the 2014 season, and will be more than double the size of the former flagship store across the plaza. That location will eventually be turned into a restaurant.

Here’s the full Virginia Country Kitchen menu, courtesy of the Reston Patch:

    • Virginia Ham Biscuit: Country Ham, Cheddar Cheese, Apple Butter
    • Old Dominion Chicken Biscuit: Crispy Chicken Breast, Pickle Chips, Firecracker Ranch
    • TJ’s Mac-n-Cheese: Inspired by Virginia made cheeses
    • Virginia Crunch: Popcorn, Smoked Bacon, Bourbon Caramel Sauce, Virginia Roast Peanuts
    • Blue Ridge Bourbon and Tea: Virginia’s Filibuster Bourbon, Peach Schnapps, Iced Tea, Mint
    • Beverages including Redd’s Apple Ale and Star Hill Grateful Pale Ale, Two Shillings Red Wine and James River White Wine from Williamsburg Winery

Photo:JDLand

Fans at Nationals Park can now douse their own “HarpCake” with chocolate syrup

Max Scherzer Bryce Harper Chocolate SyrupThe HarpCake cupcake at Nationals Park by Fluffy ThoughtsAfter Bryce Harper’s walk-off home run Saturday, fans watched as pitcher Max Scherzer doused the outfielder with chocolate syrup, a ritual Scherzer created this season as an alternative to the traditional shaving cream pie in the face.

Beginning Sunday at Nationals Park, any fan can have the opportunity to reproduce the feat, perhaps even as a means of summoning another walkoff.

The exemplary bakers at Fluffy Thoughts Bakery, known for the Teddy Roosevelt and Jayson Werth cupcakes they sell in their stand behind section 135 at Nationals Park, are introducing the HarpCake, a “funfetti” cupcake topped with vanilla buttercream and chocolate, complete with an edible fondant hat plus brohawk and eye black.

More importantly, anybody purchasing one of these little bundles gets to douse it in all the chocolate syrup they want.

“We are trying it out for today, and if it works out we will have it for the next homestand as well,” said Owner/Cake Artist Lara Stein. “You just have to purchase a HarpCake and then go to town with the chocolate syrup. Put on as much as you would like! Who doesn’t love chocolate syrup?”

Demonstration video below. The HarpCake runs $6.50 at the Fluffy Thoughts stand behind section 135, while supplies last. And by the way, the cupcakes are outstanding.

The HarpCake cupcake at Nationals Park by Fluffy Thoughts

Nationals 2015 Promotion/Giveaway Schedule: Bobbleheads, nesting dolls, garden gnome, Jayson Werth Chia pet, Star Wars night and more highlight 10th anniversary celebration

NOTE: Updated to include all dates and giveaway items including September’s Calvin Coolidge bobblehead

Washington Nationals Chief Revenue and Marketing Officer Valerie Camillo revealed details of the Nats’ 2015 promotion schedule at a season plan holder event Saturday at Nationals Park. Highlights include bobbleheads, a garden gnome, nesting dolls, and theme nights suggested by fans.
Washington Nationals Chief Revenue and Marketing Officer Valerie Camillo

Washington Nationals Commemorative Tin

Washington Nationals 10 year anniversary logo 20152015 marks the tenth anniversary of baseball’s return to Washington, and the milestone will be the centerpiece of the team’s marketing campaign, with season-long promotions celebrating ten years of memorable moments. Fans will be encouraged to use the hashtag #Nat10nals in social media throughout the year.

The theme will be highlighted on what the team is calling “10-Year Tuesdays,” one Tuesday each month that will feature special guests, pregame ceremonies, and a collectible keepsake for the first 10,000 fans. The giveaways collectively will fit inside a commemorative tin, which will be the giveaway for the first 25,000 fans on opening day.

The tin features a new 10 year anniversary logo that will also appear on jerseys worn by Nationals players and coaches, official game balls, bases and lineup cards throughout the season.

Five bobbleheads will be distributed commemorating great moments in Nationals history. As was announced last week, these and five other major giveaway items were being revealed by fans as part of the Ten Days of Teddy promotion.

Livan Hernandez Bobblehead

Livan Hernandez Bobblehead

Commemorative items include a Livan Hernandez bobblehead commemorating the Nationals’ first game, a Ryan Zimmerman bobblehead commemorating the first game at Nationals Park, a Stephen Strasburg bobblehead commemorating his 14-strikeout major league debut, a Jayson Werth bobblehead commemorating his playoff game 4 walk-off from 2012, and a Jordan Zimmermann bobblehead commemorating his 2014 no-hitter. Other items revealed include a commemorative mini lineup card from the 2005 inaugural game, a commemorative coin and a bottle stopper that Camillo says will be perfect for wine bottles. Camillo told the crowd that a sixth bobblehead is still a possibility.

2015 promotions will also include Nationals commemorative nesting dolls featuring Max Scherzer, Bryce Harper, Ryan Zimmerman, Chad Cordero, and Frank Robinson. Ten lucky fans will randomly receive unique handmade “golden ticket” dolls that are more elaborate and contain ten dolls each.

Last year’s Jayson Werth Garden Gnome was the most popular giveaway in team history, and so another gnome giveaway is planned featuring Anthony Rendon. Camillo teased that a unique new giveaway scheduled for August 5 could top the garden gnome in fan popularity. UPDATE: That item will be a Jayson Werth Chia Pet. Camillo said this is the first baseball giveaway of its kind.

Saturday, May 9 will be dedicated to the inaugural 2005 team and its Hall of Fame skipper Frank Robinson. Robinson will return to Nationals Park where he’ll be joined by former players and special guests, and watch as his name is added to the Nationals Park ring of fame.

By popular demand, the team will also introduce “theme nights,” an idea borrowed from other teams an reportedly the subject of frequent suggestions by fans. July 19 will be Star Wars day, in which fans will receive an R2D2 drink coozie. Here’s guessing there will be more than one wookie showing up wearing Werth’s #28 jersey.

The known dates are on the schedule below. Additional dates Nats postgame live concerts will be updated here as they are announced:

2015 Washington Nationals
Promotion / Giveaway Schedule

Date/Time Opponent Promotion
Mon 4/6 NYM Commemorative Tin (25,000 fans)
Mon 4/8 NYM Rally Towel (all fans)
Thu 4/16 PHI Black Heritage Night
Fri 4/17 PHI Military Appreciation Night
Sat 4/18 PHI Pups in the Park
Sun 4/19 PHI Screech’s Birthday
Scout Day #1
Kids Run the Bases
Signature Sunday
Tue 4/21 STL 10-Year Tuesday:
Stationery Set
(10,000 fans)
Mon 5/4 MIA Great Moments in Nationals History:
Livan Hernandez Bobblehead Commemorating 2005 First Game in Nationals History 
(25,000 fans)
Tue 5/5 MIA 10-year Tuesday:
Commemorative Bottle Stopper 
(10,000 fans)
Wed 5/6 MIA Weather Day
Fri 5/8 ATL U.S. Navy Night
Sat 5/9 ATL 10th Anniversary Day with Frank Robinson
Sun 5/10 ATL Kids Run the Bases
Signature Sunday
Tue 5/19 NYY Tote Bag (25,000 fans)
Sat 5/23 PHI Women in the Military Day
Pups in the Park
Mon 5/24 PHI 10th Anniversary Poster (10,000 fans)
Kids Run the Bases
Signature Sunday
Mon 6/1 TOR U.S. Army Night
$1 Hot Dogs
Tue 6/2 TOR 10-Year Tuesday
Commemorative Coin
(10,000 fans)
Wed 6/3 TOR Pups in the Park
Thu 6/4 CHC Great Moments in Nationals History:
Ryan Zimmerman Bobblehead Commemorating 2008 Opening Day of Nats Park 
(25,000 fans)
Sun 6/7 CHC Kids Run the Bases
Signature Sunday
Yoga in the Outfield
Wed 6/17 TAM LGBT Night Out
Thu 6/18 TAM Ladies Night
Fri 6/19 PIT Pilsner Cup (15,000 fans age 21+)
Sat 6/20 PIT Seniors Stroll the Bases (age 55+)
Champions Day – High School
Scout Day #2
Sun 6/21 PIT Pups in the Park
Kids Run the Bases
Signature Sunday
Wed 6/24 ATL College Rivalry Night:
Virginia vs. Virginia Tech
Nats Themed Folding Tailgate Chair (# TBA)
Fri 7/3 SFG Post-game fireworks
Sun 7/5 SFG Great Moments in Nationals History:
Stephen Strasburg Bobblehead 
Commemorating
14-Strikeout 2010 Debut 
(25,000 fans)
Kids Run the Bases
Signature Sunday
Mon 7/6 CIN Social Fan Event
Tue 7/7 CIN 10-Year Tuesday:
Lapel Pin
(10,000 fans)
Sat 7/18 LAD Scout Day #3
Sun 7/19 LAD Star Wars Day
Kids Run the Bases
Signature Sunday
R2D2 Drink Coozie (# TBA)
Tue 7/21 NYM U.S Marine Corps Night
Wed 7/22 NYM Camp Day
Tue 8/4 ARI 10-Year Tuesday:
Replica 2005 Ticket
(10,000 fans)
Wed 8/5 ARI Jayson Werth Chia Pet (25,000 fans)
Thu 8/6 ARI U.S Coast Guard Night
Fri 8/7 COL Post-game fireworks
Sun 8/9 COL Kids Run the Bases
Signature Sunday
Fri 8/21 MIL Cap (15,000 fans)
Sun 8/23 MIL Kids Run the Bases
Signature Sunday
Tue 8/25 SDG Anthony Rendon Garden Gnome (25,000 fans)
Thu 8/27 SDG Pet Day: Player Pet Calendar (10,000 fans)
Sat 8/29 MIA 80s Night
Nats Themed Rubiks Cube (# TBA)
Sun 8/30 MIA Great Moments in Nationals History:
Jayson Werth Bobblehead 
Commemorating 2012 NLDS Game 4 Walk-off Home Run (25,000 fans)
Kids Run the Bases
Signature Sunday
Thu 9/3 ATL Nesting Doll (20,000 fans)
Pups in the Park
Sun 9/6 ATL Kids Run the Bases
Signature Sunday
Tue 9/8 ATL 10-Year Tuesday:
2005 inaugural game miniature lineup card
Wed 9/16 NYM Patriotic Series: Heroes Day
Thu 9/17 MIA Hispanic Heritage Day
Fyi 9/18 MIA U.S Air Force Night
Sat 9/19 MIA Faith Day
Sun 9/20 MIA Kids Run the Bases
Signature Sunday
Mon 9/21 BAL Calvin Coolidge Bobblehead (25,000 fans)
Fri 9/25 PHI Great Moments in Nationals History:
Jordan Zimmermann Bobblehead 
Commemorating
His 2014 Final Game No-hitter 
(25,000 fans)
Sat 9/26 PHI Pups in the Park
Sun 9/27 PHI Gloves (25,000 fans)
Kids Run the Bases
Signature Sunday

Nats fans plan rubber chicken sacrifice for 5pm Sunday outside Nationals Park

Rubber Chicken Man Hugh Kaufman and Let Teddy Win Sacrifice a chicken at Nationals ParkWashington Nationals Rubber Chicken Sacrifice Burn SageNationals rubber chicken man sacrifice breaks bad luckFollowing Saturday’s epic 18-inning game 2 loss to the San Francisco Giants, a chicken will be sacrificed at 5pm today in front of the Nationals Park Center Field Gate.

Longtime readers know that since 2005, Nationals fan “Rubber Chicken Man” Hugh Kaufman has sacrificed rubber chickens to “get rid of the bad juju” whenever the team has run into a bit of trouble.

Kaufman is encouraging fans to come “honor our pitchers and help wake up our bats,” and promises to bring a number of baseball voodoo items to help ensure success.

When the Nationals had their backs to the wall in the 2012 playoffs, Kaufman performed a similar ritual, sacrificing a chicken before Jayson Werth’s historic walk-off home run carried the team to a Game 4 victory in that year’s NLDS.

Kaufman says has has “sacrificed dozens” over the years. In fact, he says 2014 is the only year in which he performed the ritual only once.

This season’s only sacrifice came after a Memorial Day loss that dropped the team’s record below .500 after 51 games. After that, the Nationals went on a tear for the rest of the season, winning 71 games vs. just 40 losses.

As it is Sunday and there is no game today, plenty of free parking should be available. Kaufman is encouraging fans to wear their Chicken Mode t-shirts.

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