ESPN analyst Dallas Braden dresses as a hot dog, helps Teddy Roosevelt win the Nationals presidents race

Teddy Roosevelt Dollar Hot Dog Stand Racing PresidentsTeddy Roosevelt Dollar Hot Dog Stand Racing Presidents Dallas Braden DogDallas Braden Tackles Racing PresidentsFormer major league pitcher and ESPN Baseball Tonight analyst Dallas Braden visited Nationals Park on Wednesday night, and joined in the fourth inning presidents race to help Teddy Roosevelt notch a victory.

Wednesday was dollar hot dog night, so when the presidents race began, Teddy got into the spirit by wheeling a giant dollar hot dog cart onto the field along the first base line:

As Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, Taft, and Coolidge approached the home stretch, Teddy stopped them to offer a bargain dog.

That’s when “Dallas Dog”, aka Dallas Braden in a hot dog costume, jumped out of the cart and startled Teddy’s opponents.

As Teddy turned to steal the victory, Braden chased Taft back into the bullpen in right field, taking down the Big Chief before he could reach the tunnel (GIF at right).

Our finish line video is below, followed by the official call by Nats PA announcer Jerome Hruska as heard on Nats HD.

After the race, mascot Screech stayed on the sidelines to help lead the crowd in a happy birthday serenade for a longtime season ticket holder who sits along the finish line.

Weekend Videos: Pac-Man eats the racing presidents, cherry turnovers and more

National Cherry Turnover DayNationals Racing Presidents 80s nightPac Man racing presidents 80s nightPac Man racing presidents 80s nightThe Nationals racing presidents put on a show for Nationals Park fans over the weekend, first passing out free food during Friday night’s race, then going all-in to to join in the team’s “80s night” celebration on Saturday.

Friday, as it turns out, was National Cherry Turnover Day. Never ones to miss out on an opportunity to celebrate something obscure, Teddy Roosevelt and William Howard Taft skipped the starting gate and passed out cherry turnovers along the first base line as their fellow presidents ran the race.

Sporting a “Free Cherry Turnovers” sandwich board, Teddy then stopped the race and encourage the other presidents to help out.

That’s when Taft handed off his turnovers and dashed to the finish line.

Saturday was 80s night, and everybody from the racing presidents to Screech the Eagle to the grounds crew got into the spirit with brightly colored clothes, headbands, and big hair.

When the fourth inning race came around, Teddy Roosevelt emerged first and jumped out to a big lead, carrying a large yellow “power pellet.”

As he reached the bullpen, he stopped and turned, then handed off the power pellet to Abe Lincoln.

That’s when the Pac Man music started.

As the other presidents passed around the power pellet like a hot potato, Pac Man appeared from center field, and raced toward the pack.

By the time Pac Man had devoured the presidents, Teddy had bolted for the finish line.

Official Nats HD videos below, but check out our finish line version for all the Pac Man sound effects.

Saturday’s finish line video:

On Sunday, Calvin Coolidge moved from last to first:

Video: Washington Nationals and lfahome

Video: Calvin Coolidge’s pet raccoon disrupts presidents race

Rebecca Raccoon Grace Coolidge Calvin presidentMr Nice Cream Cone Selfie with TeddyCalvin Coolidge’s pet raccoon Rebecca made her first appearance at Nationals Park Thursday by disrupting the fourth inning presidents race and helping Calvin to victory.

The raccoon was adopted as a pet by first lady Grace Coolidge in 1926, after she saved the raccoon from being served for Thanksgiving dinner.

If tweets by Teddy are any indication, this isn’t the last we’ve seen of Rebecca.

The raccoon’s appearance came just one night after another recurring interloper disrupted Wednesday’s presidents race.

That race featured the return of Mr. Nice Cream Cone, who promoted his local ice cream shop by stopping each of the presidents in the middle of the race and snapping selfies to share on social media.

The ice cream man then videotaped the rest of the race.

Videos below include two from Thursday’s race, followed by Mr. Nice Cream Cone’s video and the race as seen on Nats HD.

Video: Fans watch Teddy Roosevelt and the Nats racing presidents whip, watch them nae nae

Teddy Roosevelt does the whip nae naeThe Nationals racing presidents returned to DC in style Friday night, kicking off the Nats’ latest homestand by dancing to Silentó’s Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae) during the fourth inning presidents race.

The race began with Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, Taft and Coolidge emerging from the usual starting gate, but Teddy Roosevelt emerged from the bullpen carrying a boom box and stopped the race on the right field warning track.

The presidents then did the whip and the nae nae, drawing cheers from the Nationals Park crowd; but with his competitors distracted, Teddy then bolted for the finish line.

Video below, followed by some bullpen-view videos by Taft and Teddy themselves:

Finish line video for by lfahome

Video: MASN’s Dan Kolko reports from inside a racing president costume

Dan Kolko Nationals presidents race GoProDan Kolko Nationals presidents race GoProDan Kolko Nationals presidents race GoProEver wonder what it’s like to be in the Nationals’ presidents race?

After donning the Thomas Jefferson costume Friday night in response to a challenge by Nats’ manager Matt Williams, MASN sideline reporter Dan Kolko has created the best insider chronicle yet of the true racing president experience.

The segment aired on Saturday’s Nats Xtra pregame show, and featured GoPro camera footage coupled with the first “mic’d up” audio in racing president history.

Weighing 40 to 50 pounds each and towering over 4 feet above the racer’s head, the Nats’ presidents costumes don’t make running very easy, and Jefferson’s costume is both the tallest and heaviest of the bunch.

“They were kind of putting me to the test a little bit,” Kolko said, “and I think we can all say that I failed.” Kolko finished eleven seconds behind the pack.

The outstanding segment is below. See Friday night’s report for more photos and video from the finish line.

Fans plan public chicken sacrifice for 5:00pm Tuesday at Nationals Park

Fans showing up to Nationals Park two hours before first pitch Tuesday night will get a little extra for their money.

Washington Nationals Rubber Chicken Man Hugh Kaufman displays his Chicken Mode T-ShirtHugh Kaufman, aka the Nationals’ “Rubber Chicken Man,” will be leading a group of fans through the Kaporos ritual outside the centerfield gate, sacrificing a rubber chicken to “ward off the bad juju” that has fallen on the team as they’ve lost four straight to fall out of first place in the National League East.

Longtime readers are familiar with the ritual, most recently performed at the ball park after the Nationals lost the first two games of the 2014 divisional playoffs. Remarkably, it seems to usually work. The team went on to win game three. Kaufman’s sacrifices have preceded winning streaks almost annually since 2005, and have been called on by previous manager Davey Johnson, and by pitcher Gio Gonzalez, who has been known to wear a “Chicken Mode” t-shirt in honor of Kaufman.

Behind the scenes with the genius behind the Nats Star Wars Day Racing Presidents costumes

Washington Post intern Lauren Loftus has published a wonderful behind-the-scenes profile of the genius behind the customized racing presidents costumes from Sunday’s Star Wars Day promotion at Nationals Park.

Nationals Star Wars Day Racing Presidentsracing presidents star wars costumes Natsracing presidents star wars costumesLongtime readers know that the Nationals’ racing presidents were built by Randy Carfagno Productions in New York City, but when Star Wars costumes, wigs, astronaut helmets, or other repairs or embellishments are called for, who do the Nationals call on?

DC-area parents are no doubt familiar with the work of Ingrid Crepeau, longtime puppeteer behind the children’s shows produced by Silver Spring-based Dino Rock Productions. Loftus’s piece explains how Crepeau has in recent years built a successful side business building, repairing, and costuming local sports mascots.

Crepeau tells the Post she’s been working on the presidents for six years, which makes a lot of sense. It was six years ago that Teddy missed several races when his costume frame cracked, an incident that the Post at the time called a “classic Washington cover-up.” On several other occasions, Teddy’s glasses have been damaged. With Crepeau on board, there’s no longer a need to send costumes to New York for repairs.

The piece also includes behind-the-scenes video. It’s a lovely profile of somebody who loves her work. “I love children’s laughter,” Crepeau tells Loftus. “That’s the best sound in the world, isn’t it?”

Video and Photos: The Washington Post


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