Are the Nationals planning to retire Teddy Roosevelt?

Teddy Roosevelt wins his first presidents race at Nationals ParkThe National’s plan to let Teddy Roosevelt win the presidents race Wednesday was one of the most poorly kept secrets in Washington history. The team promoted the event for a week, even bought ads in the newspaper; yet many Teddy fans, having been burned in the past, remained skeptical.

However, in light of Teddy’s historic victory, must the Nats’ rumor mill be taken more seriously?

Before Wednesday’s historic race even took place, rumors were flying around Nationals Park about not just a victory for Teddy, but about the team’s plans for the 26th president after the celebration was over.

Chillin' with Teddy

Will the Nats retire Teddy?

Nobody would speak on the record, but the story was consistent from employees working all corners of the Park: The Nats would let Teddy Roosevelt win, then retire him and replace him with a new racing president in 2013 — possibly John F. Kennedy.

The first part came true. Is part two in the cards?

One fan, hearing the same rumors, has already started a Facebook campaign to keep Teddy.

Sounds downright heretical to me. In the meantime, Teddy fans are hoping to see more victories as the Nationals host their first home playoff game next Wednesday.

Speaking of retirement, one question that’s been pouring in from all corners is “What happens to LetTeddyWin.com?” On that there is no discussion. As long as the readers keep coming, we’ll keep writing.

Scoreboard photo by reader Alfonse Mannato

Teddy’s victory in slow motion, set to Chariots of Fire

From blog contributor and YouTube member lfahome. Soak it in:

Teddy Wins His First Presidents Race on Historic Day at Nationals Park (Videos, Photos, & More)

Teddy Roosevelt wins the presidents race
Let Teddy Win Poll - When will Teddy winTeddy Roosevelt Pep Talk Video from Nationals ParkTeddy Roosevelt Golden Shoes video Nationals Park scoreboardTeddy Roosevelt scoreboard video: Teddy gets his Golden ShoesNationals Presidents race Teddy Wins October 3 2012 - Starting gateTeddy Wins the presidents race vs the fake Philly PhanaticTeddy Roosevelt Wins his first Nationals Presidents Race - October 3, 2012Teddy Roosevelt October Playoff NatitudeA near-capacity house of 37,075 filled Nationals Park Wednesday afternoon with two things in mind: A record 98th win for the Nationals, and a record first win for racing president Teddy Roosevelt.

Rumors had swirled that today would be the day for Teddy to break his epic streak — rumors fed by the team’s own “Teddy in 2012” theme that dominated the final series vs. the Phillies.

A Let Teddy Win reader poll showed fans were expecting nothing less, with 39% expecting Wednesday to be the day.

The Nats, in fact, played it out to such a degree that anything short of a win for the Rough Rider might have sparked a riot. Videos played on the HD scoreboard for the series showed Teddy training with the U.S. Army, getting pep talks from WWE wrestler John Cena, and working out at the Under Armour training facility in preparation for Wednesday’s Fan Appreciation Day.

The movement turned out in vast numbers, with with “Let Teddy Win” t-shirts and homemade signs dotting the stands, and Twitter abuzz before the game with rumors that turned out to be true, but not before one final tease.

In the third inning, the HD scoreboard lit up with a video pep talk for Teddy by Nationals players Kurt Suzuki, Craig Stammen, Mike Morse, Drew Storen, coach Bo Porter, and GM Mike Rizzo.

“Time to turn it up,” Rizzo said. ” It’s playoff time. Now get it going, and finish strong.”

“There’s still time to save the season,” added Storen. “We need you Teddy.”

Teddy then was presented with a glowing pair of Usain Bolt-style golden Under Armour sneakers.

When the fourth inning race began, Teddy came out wearing his new sneakers, but trailed the pack by a significant margin. Then, as Washington, Jefferson, and Lincoln approached the outfield corner, a character resembling the Phillie Phanatic mascot appeared from the bullpen.

The “Fake-natic” proceeded to take out Honest Abe and the Founding Fathers single-handedly, despite losing his fake nose in the process.

That left only Teddy Roosevelt on his feet. As he and the Fake-Natic turned the corner together, the crowd went wild with the knowledge that Nationals brass would never have allowed Teddy to be defeated by such an unsavory foe with the Phillies watching from the visitor’s dugout.

The Fake-natic bowed out quickly, leaving the Rough Rider with a clear path to victory, as fans along the first base line chanted “Teddy, Teddy, Teddy” in celebration.

The Hero of San Juan Hill, victorious for the first time after seven long years and 525 races, posed for the crowd, displaying an October Playoff Natitude t-shirt beneath his jersey.

Twitter exploded with the news, and within minutes it was a national story, with articles appearing on sites as diverse as Sports Illustrated, The Sporting News, The New York Times, ABC News, The Wall Street Journal, The Huffington Post, every local news outlet, and multiple stories by The Washington Post including the intrepid DC Sports Bog.

Turns out the Post even had an infographic prepared for the event, based on a recent interview with this blog.

In the at-bats immediately following Teddy’s victory, Ryan Zimmerman hit a home run, Michael Morse doubled, and Tyler Moore doubled to score Morse. Coincidence?

Below is the team’s official race video, capturing Nationals Park P.A. announcer Jerome Hruska’s live call from the ball park:

This fan video by Ryan Eades captures the euphoria of fans behind the Nats dugout:

Here’s Teddy getting his golden shoes:

And here’s Teddy’s pre-game workout with Under Armour:

Finally, our finish line video from stalwart contributor lfahome:

Teddy wins Peepsidents Race in Post diorama contest. Voting open now!

The Washington nationals racing peepsidents are represented in a Washington Post peeps diorama contest entryThe Washington nationals presidents race received a fitting tribute in an entry to this year’s Washington Post Peeps Diorama contest.

The entry, titled “The Peepsidents Race” and depicting a Teddy Roosevelt victory, was selected as a semifinalist from over 1,100 entries to the popular annual contest.

The Post’s chosen winner was an equally-inspired send-up of the movie “Up,” but the People’s Choice voting opens today, and the Peepsidents have collected quite a few votes already. You can view the gallery and place your vote here (click on the “Peoples Choice” link).

The nationals racing peepsidents are represented in a Washington Post peeps diorama contest entryThe Peepsidents was created by DC resident Morgan Barr and a team of coworkers at the U.S. Office of Trade Policy Analysis, who turned to this site to watch videos of past presidents races, and included a number of painstakingly-created details from Nationals Park (or “Nationals Peep,” as the diorama scoreboard states).

Ads on the scoreboard include The Washington Peep, Peepeiser, Peepza Hut, and Peepsi.

Of course, it wouldn’t be the presidents race without oversized heads, so the team expanded the heads of the four racing peeps using plastic eggs.

Barr says that the presidents race is the main reason she goes to Nationals games. “Only, in the Peeps universe, Teddy does win!,” Barr told the Post. “I definitely think that our diorama will help raise awareness to Teddy’s plight,” said team member Justin Hoffman. “We hope this season will bring success to both Teddy and the Nationals.”

Flickr photos courtesy of team member Justin Hoffman

Teddy is disqualified for “Unauthorized Use of a Feline”

It was a beautiful night at Nationals Park, with a game time temperature of 73 degrees and a crowd of 17,153 on hand to watch a classic pitchers’ duel between the Nationals’ John Lannan and the Philadelphia Phillies’ Pedro Martinez.

With the Nationals up 1-0 in the 4th inning and Lannan cruising through the World Champions’ batting order, it seemed the only thing that could make the night better would be a victory for Teddy Roosevelt.

That CatTeddy tried a little too hard.

As George Washington sprinted out to an early presidents race lead, Teddy recruited his onetime nemesis That
Cat
to join the race.

The now-familiar panther slammed
Abe Lincoln into the outfield wall, then
chased down George Washington and knocked him to the ground, before finally putting the block on Thomas Jefferson, leaving Teddy Roosevelt with an uncontested path to the finish line.

A biased Nationals Park crowd cheered Teddy’s apparent victory, but Screech quickly stepped in to issue the disqualification for “Illegal Use of a Feline.”

Contacted after the race, Screech responded “”Teddy brought that cat with him onto the field, it was an unfair advantage, he told that cat to tackle George Tom and Abe!! Cheating = DISQUALIFIED!””

Abe quickly got up off the ground to cross the tape and steal Teddy’s thunder, leading us to ask whether judge Screech and racing president Abe are in cahoots. After all, Abe has been known to cheat from time to time, but when was the last time he was disqualified?

And the in-game play-by-play:

Video by YouTube members lfahome and TheTeddyRoosevelt.
Finish line photo by Flickr member melanie.phung

Teddy disqualified for cheating in walk-race

Last night at Nationals Park, the racing presidents honored the Olympics by running that most difficult of track events — the walk race. After it was announced that walk race rules were in effect, the racing presidents took off — slowly — in a painful demonstration of speed-walking while wearing a 10-foot costume.

Perhaps Teddy Roosevelt was sympathetic to the umpires’ desire to start the 5th inning, but before the pack had even reached the right field corner, he decided to take things into his own hands.

The Nationals Park crowd roared with approval as Teddy cut the outfield corner and broke into a sprint for the finish line. Of course, that buzzkill Screech was there to issue an immediate disqualification, and Thomas Jefferson was granted the victory.

Where is Screech to throw the flag when Abe cheats?

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