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

Teddy takes an early lead in fan voting as race vs. Taft begins

William Howard Taft Racing President departing on adventure to Mt. RushmoreNats Racing presidents Teddy Roosevelt and William Howard Taft took off this morning on their Executive Adventure to Mt. Rushmore, with Taft tweeting a photo from the starting line.

Fans who follow the presidents on Twitter @Teddy26Nats or @NatsBigChief27 are being asked to use the hashtags #VoteTeddy or #VoteBill to voice their support.

Results appear real-time at Nationals.com, and no surprise: in the early hours, support for Teddy is nearly tripling that for Taft.

The race ends Monday at Mt. Rushmore.

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