Teddy tricks fellow racing presidents, wins home opener, leading FP to predict a Teddy season sweep.

Racing Presidents Wheel of FortuneRacing President Teddy Roosevelt wins Washington Nationals Presidents RaceTeddy Roosevelt Championship BeltFor the first time ever, Teddy Roosevelt is in first place.

Washington Nationals racing president Teddy Roosevelt showed up prepared for Friday’s home opener at Nationals Park. The 26th president had planted a wheel of fortune along the warning track, and as his fellow presidents emerged from the center field gate, Teddy stopped them with a wave towards the wheel, suggesting that each president had to spin the wheel before running.

But as George, Tom, Abe, and Bill lined up to take a spin, Teddy turned and darted for the finish line uncontested.

With one victory, Teddy has tasted rare air: First place in the presidents race standings. Teddy spend the rest of the day parading around Nationals Park carrying a championship belt.

On the local TV broadcast, Nationals color commentator FP Santangelo saw Teddy’s opening day victory as a sign of great things to come for the Bull Moose.

“I got a call right now,” FP said. “Teddy’s going to win every race all year. 81 wins.”

Now that would be amazing.

UPDATE: Here’s the video

Video courtesy of lfahome

Natsfest begets a Bryce Harper meme

 Bryce Harper up in arms memeIt’s been a quiet winter here in Let Teddy Win World, but what better way to kick off the season and reignite Nats fan frenzy than a new Bryce Harper internet meme?

On the main stage at Saturday’s Natsfest, I caught Harper reacting with a shrug as he was announced winner of the afternoon’s Wheel of Fortune contest.

Today, Dave Brown at Yahoo!’s Big League Stew turned the photo into an internet meme, saying the photo was “sure to be iconic,” and calling for readers to download the “up in arms” photo and manipulate it for a bit of informal fun.

Here below the original are just a few of the entries to have appeared on Twitter so far.

Facing Stephen Strasburg and Tyler Clippard on stage Saturday, the hyper-competitive Harper had figured out quickly that there was no “Lose a Turn” option on the game wheel, and so he kept spinning and racking up dollars, refusing to guess or give up control until he had amassed enough points to leave Strasburg and Clippard in the dust.

Nationals radio personality and Wheel of Fortune game host Dave Jageler declared Harper the winner, and Harper gave the shrug that will apparently live on forever…

Brown is accepting entries via Twitter at @bigleaguestew.

No word yet on what either the criteria or the prize will be for the chosen winner.

Abe showboats, wins race from left field bullpen

Racing president Abe Lincoln taunts cheats winsDespite needing to win out the remaining home games to claim the presidents race season title, “Honest” Abe Lincoln has gotten cocky. After attacking rival George Washington Thursday night, Abe gave the field a head start Friday, starting the race from the left field bullpen.

Lincoln caught the pack and surged ahead, turning to taunt his fellow presidents as he took yet another improbable victory.

With a victory Saturday night, Abe could set up a final battle vs. George for the season title on Sunday afternoon.

Video: Shark Week Teddy runs away from Sharky

The Nats Shark Week homestand continued Saturday night with the racing presidents trotting out another shark-themed twist for the fourth inning race.

Teddy Roosevelt held a big lead until Presidents Race newcomer “Sharky” showed up, startling the Rough Rider and causing him to reverse direction and flee in retreat.

Abe Lincoln took the win to maintain a narrow lead over Thomas Jefferson in the season standings.

Video courtesy of YouTube member lfahome

Abe Lincoln dons Batman costume to take down the Sharknado

The Shark Week absurdities reached new heights Friday night at Nationals Park, as the Sharknado returned to wreak its own brand of havoc on the Washington Nationals presidents race.

Racing presidents batman vs SharknadoSharknado popped out of the home bullpen and took out front-running William Howard Taft, then spun its way along the warning track toward the rest of the oncoming presidents.

But Abe Lincoln raced from behind dressed in a Batman costume, and the Caped Emancipator collided with Sharknado, clearing the way for Thomas Jefferson to take the victory.

Teddy kicks off Shark Week with attack on Taft

Racing Presidents Shark Week at Nationals ParkTeddy Roosevelt kicked off Shark Week by donning a shark mask for Monday night’s presidents race at Nationals Park.

The Rough Rider raced furiously from behind, slowly catching up to front runner William Howard Taft and attacking from behind.

It was the first time Teddy has donned the makeshift shark teeth since Shark Week 2011.

Video courtesy of YouTube member lfahome

Video: George shines, Teddy struggles with Standard Obstacle Course on Army Day at Nationals Park

Nearly 32,000 fans welcomed the Washington Nationals home from a lengthy road trip Thursday night as part of the team’s Army Night military celebration.

Army Day Nationals Park Racing Presidents Lift WeightsArmy Day Nationals Park Racing Presidents Obstacle CourseThe evening was chock full of military tributes, highlighted by a first-ever racing presidents Army obstacle course.

Former Army Colonel Teddy Roosevelt had no trouble with the hurdles that opened the fourth inning race, but TR met his end at the next stop. Each of the other presidents tackled the weightlifting obstacle, but Teddy proved unable to lift the weights (marked “200″), and failed to continue as Taft dashed ahead.

The final obstacle, a classic Army Crawl, proved to be the portly Taft’s undoing. As the Big Chief keeled over, first Commander In Chief George Washington crawled ahead on elbows and knees, and took the series opener.

Video courtesy of YouTube member lfahome

Video: Teddy Roosevelt wins as racing presidents salute military on Memorial Day

The Nationals saluted the U.S. Military on Memorial Day at Nationals Park, with the racing presidents joining the team in donning their military-style fatigue uniforms.

Teddy Roosevelt wins presidents race military memorial dayTeddy Roosevelt wins presidents race military memorial dayThe fourth inning presidents race wasn’t so much a race as it was a salute to our nation’s soldiers. The racing presidents positioned themselves around the field along the warning track, waiting to pass an American Flag from president to president in order of their service — well, almost.

Our first military veteran president George Washington kicked things off, passing the flag to our third president Thomas Jefferson, who then handed it to #16 Abe Lincoln. The Nats thought better than to let war hero #26 Teddy Roosevelt hand the flag to #27 William Howard Taft; so it was Taft who went next, letting the leader of the Rough Riders and Hero of San Juan Hill take the honors in this least competitive of races.

Video courtesy of YouTube member lfahome

Video: George Washington thwarts Tigers with cinnamon again

Racing presidents Tigers hate cinnamonAfter trotting out the cinnamon shakers to thwart the Tigers Wednesday night, Nationals Racing Presidents decided that another dose of cinnamon would continue to keep Detroit at bay.

On Thursday afternoon, the presidents raced with cinnamon shakers once again, subscribing to the philosophy of Zack Galifianakis’ character Alan Garner from the movie The Hangover.

Teddy Roosevelt put in an inspired performance, but turned to trip an oncoming Thomas Jefferson with his cinnamon shaker. Jefferson indeed tripped but fell into Roosevelt, taking both down.


Video courtesy of YouTube member lfahome

Video: Presidents switch directions, but Nats luck doesn’t change

Thomas Jefferson Sits for Nationals Presidents RaceWashingtion Nationals Racing Presidents Run LeftThomas Jefferson Sits Nationals Presidents Race Shoes on fireThomas Jefferson is getting cocky.

After surging past the field in three of the last four presidents races, the Sage of Monticello was on a roll heading into Tuesday night’s contest at Nationals Park.

So as the presidents were being introduced on the video scoreboard, Jefferson parked himself in a chair on the outfield warning track to watch the start of the presidents race.

After spotting his competitors a head start, Tall Tom darted ahead from behind the field, catching up as they turned the left field corner.

“C’mon Tom, get back in the race! Bid me run and I will strive with things impossible,” shouted Nationals P.A. announcer Jerome Hruska, quoting Shakespeare on his birthday.

TJ passed the pack in the home stretch, crossed the tape and popped off his shoes. “His shoes are on fire, he’s so fast,” chimed in Hruska.

The presidents raced to the third base side for the first time in 2013, a move perhaps designed to change the Nationals’ recent luck on the field, but the Nats lost another close one to the Cardinals to even their record at 10-10.

Video courtesy of YouTube member lfahome

HBO’s VEEP Selina Meyer to join Nationals presidents race Tuesday night

Teddy Roosevelt Selina Meyer VEEP Washington Nationals Presidents RaceA giant Selina Meyer mascot will join the Washington Nationals racing presidents Tuesday night at Nationals Park, as part of a promotion for Sunday’s season premier of the HBO series VEEP.

As first reported by the intrepid Dan Steinberg at The Washington Post, the Julia Louis-Dreyfus character will join Teddy Roosevelt in a relay race vs. a team of Abe Lincoln and William Howard Taft. No news on what the founding fathers George Washington and Thomas Jefferson will be up to.

The giant likeness of Dreyfus will also be in the center-field plaza before the game, and will be featured in several in-game promotions.

Steinberg’s report did state that this “will mark the first time a television character will appear in the race,” but in fact, a giant Brian Griffin from Family Guy participated in a similar promotion back in May, 2010.

Photo/Washington Nationals

Taft skips first presidents race of 2013, Gecko flattens Washington

New racing president William Howard Taft sat out the first presidents race of 2013 at Nationals Park.

Taft sits out first presidents raceThe unofficial race was part of Friday’s exhibition opener vs. the New York Yankees. Taft wasn’t part of the introductory video, and spent the entire race in the stands at section 133, taking notes on his new opponents in preparation for Monday’s official opener.

The race was otherwise reminiscent of previous seasons, with Teddy Roosevelt trailing far behind Abe Lincoln at the tape. George Washington tried to take out his frustrations on the sponsor GEICO Gecko, who was ready for George and flattened him.

Video courtesy of YouTube member lfahome

No Teddy, no Taft for racing president auditions

George Washington President Race Auditions Nationals ParkThe Nationals held their annual racing president auditions Saturday at Nationals Park, but hopefuls looking to taste a first victory dressed as William Howard Taft left disappointed.

In continuing with a long-standing tradition, only the costumes of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Abe Lincoln were available for the auditions. Teddy Roosevelt, as usual, was reportedly on vacation, and contestants were told newcomer William Howard Taft is resting for the season.

With the Nats expected to draw record crowds this season, the part-time job is as coveted as ever. 58 candidates were invited to the tryouts from about 300 applicants. Previous jobholders must reapply annually.

Racing president auditions have become a Presidents Day weekend tradition in DC in recent years, but the 2013 tryouts were postponed to March as the presidents paid a special visit to Mt. Rushmore and the Black Hills of South Dakota to celebrate Presidents Day this year.

Video: WTOP

Teddy gets his own Topps baseball card

Teddy Roosevelt Topps Baseball Card - Commemorative - Winning presidents race
In yet another milestone for the Rough Rider, Teddy Roosevelt’s historic first presidents race victory has been commemorated on a new Topps Heritage baseball card.

The card is part of a “Memorable Moments 2012″ series and is titled “Teddy Wins First Presidential Mascot Race.”

“Teddy finally won a race. So we gave him a #HeritageBB card,” the company tweeted this morning.

As the ever-observant Dan Steinberg pointed out at the Washington Post, the photo that was used was not, in fact, from the event supposedly being commemorated. It was taken the following week at game 4 of the 2012 National League division playoffs, just before Teddy turned around and fell backward over the finish line for his third career victory.

Nationals mascot Screech has appeared on baseball cards before as part of the Topps official mascot series, and the actual former president was featured on a card, but this is a first for any of the racing presidents.

Teddy’s playing poker, Bill’s on a snowmobile as Roosevelt & Taft reach South Dakota

Teddy Roosevelt in Deadwood South DakotaNats Teddy Roosevelt playing pokerNats William Howard Taft on SnowmobileApparently, some things never change.

Nationals racing president Teddy Roosevelt comfortably beat rival William Howard Taft to the Black Hills of South Dakota on the eve of Presidents Day, but rather than head to Mt. Rushmore, Teddy opted to visit the Old Style Saloon #10 in Deadwood, South Dakota, where he tweeted “I just had to swing by. Hope this stop doesn’t lose me the race!”

Black Hills locals soon reported that Teddy had joined a poker game at the saloon, posting photos on Facebook Sunday afternoon.

Hours later, Taft tweeted from aboard a snowmobile, “Perfect, you stay in one place. I’ve got my eye on the prize and even found some help!”

Clearly both presidents will achieve their goal of reaching Mt. Rushmore by Presidents Day. Whether Teddy comes back to beat Taft remains to be seen, but one thing is certain. The Big Chief has a long way to go to catch up to the Rough Rider in the popularity department.

In the Nationals’ corresponding Twitter contest, Teddy’s vote count is more than double that of Bill.

Poker game photo courtesy of Black Hills Travel Blog

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