Nationals announce Teddy giveaways for final homestand

With the Let Teddy Win movement becoming national news, the Nationals are ironically trying to jump on the bandwagon.

Washington Nationals Teddy RooseveltThe Nationals social media team introduced the #Teddyin2012 hashtag, implying that they somehow want to see Teddy win, along with a new Teddy-focused page on Nationals.com.

The page prominently features the quote from Teddy’s “Man in the Arena” speech that has been featured on Let Teddy Win t-shirts and was quoted by Arizona Senator John McCain in the recent Ken Burns video that has been running on various ESPN shows this week.

The team also announced that fans attending next week’s final homestand of the season October 1-3 will receive a Teddy-themed giveaway.

The first 20,000 fans On Monday October 1st will receive Eye Black Strips (“Teddy” for one eye and “26” for the other). On Tuesday the 2nd, it’s Teddy bumper stickers for the first 20,000 fans, and on fan appreciation day Wednesday the 3rd, it’s Teddy pins for the first 20,000 fans.

I think I need at least 40 sets of those eye black strips.

Ken Burns’ Let Teddy Win profile on ESPN’s Baseball Tonight

The Ken Burns narrated video profile of the Let Teddy Win movement airs tonight again on ESPN’s Baseball Tonight.

The 8-minute mini-documentary, which inspired president Barack Obama to join the Let Teddy Win movement, almost led to a prediction from Baseball Tonight host Karl Ravech.
Presidents Race blockade
“Gotta believe when they clinch first place that that’ll be the day when perhaps…,” Ravech said on tonight’s show, before cutting himself off.

Teddy, meanwhile, lost again today in the final race of the homestand. The hero of San Juan Hill was forced to cut the outfield corner when Washington, Jefferson, and Lincoln formed a makeshift blockade in centerfield.

George Washington took the win.

And if you missed it the first time:

Video courtesy of YouTube member lfahome

Is tonight the night? Let the Speculation Begin

For years now, many Nationals fans have been advancing a common theory about the presidents race: Teddy will win when the Nationals win.

Teddy Roosevelt Washington Nationals presidents raceFrom the Nationals Park stands to the Red Loft bar to Twitter and online discussion forums, the only thing up for debate among many fans is the exact timing.  When they make the playoffs. When they win the division. When they finish their first winning season. When they host their first playoff game. When they win a pennant. When they make the Worlds Series. When they win the World Series.  Everybody has a theory.

On Thursday night, the first of those milestones passed.  The Nationals clinched their first playoff berth, and if the chatter on Twitter is any indication, quite a few people are expecting a Roosevelt victory Friday night at Nationals Park.

In today’s Washington Post, columnist Tracee Hamilton argues that the Nats can’t let Teddy win now.

“If, say, Teddy wins during the Nationals’ first home playoff game, and the Nats subsequently lose that game,” Hamilton writes, “the ‘When will Teddy win?’ discussion will devolve into ‘The Curse of Teddy.’

Hamilton’s solution? “Avoid the decision. Announce he’s reached his (between) innings limit for the season, and shut him down. It worked with Strasburg.”

Cute.

Personally, I don’t know when Teddy’s going to win. I just know I have to be there when it happens.

Barack Obama joins the Let Teddy Win movement

President Barack Obama has thrown his support behind the Let Teddy Win movement, the White house said Thursday.

Obama was responding to Republican Senator John McCain’s call for a congressional investigation into the Washington Nationals’ conspiracy against racing president Teddy Roosevelt in a video report that aired Tuesday on ESPN’s E:60.

White House spokesman Jay Carney opened Thursday’s  press briefing aboard Air Force One with a prepared statement about the presidents race as an example of the possibility for bipartisanship in Washington.

“Senator McCain gave an important interview the other day,” Carney said, calling Teddy’s losses “an outrage.”

“I agree with Sen. McCain,” he continued.  “I’m comfortable saying my boss agrees with Sen. McCain.”

Carney went on to note that president Obama has long been a fan of Theodore Roosevelt.

The White House has posted the full transcript here.

Video: Ken Burns narrates and John McCain featured as ESPN E:60 profiles the Let Teddy Win movement

As usual, Teddy Roosevelt pulled up the rear but stole the show, as  ESPN’s E:60 ended  Tuesday night with an eight minute Ken Burns-narrated feature story on the conspiracy surrounding Nationals racing  president Teddy Roosevelt.

Nationals racing president Teddy Roosevelt ESPNTeddy Roosevelt's great great grandson Winthrop RooseveltJohn McCain with Teddy Roosevelt DollTeddy Roosevelt Presidents Race Abe CheatsESPN’s Michael Johns set out to produce the definitive piece on the Let Teddy Win movement, and by all accounts, a new bar has been set. The mini-documentary featured the Let Teddy Win blog along with interviews with Senator John McCain and the great great grandson of Theodore Roosevelt himself, Winthrop Roosevelt.

“Theodore Roosevelt is one of the great presidents in history,” McCain says in the video. “I’ve been paying a lot of attention to the fact that one of the truly great presidents in history has never won a race. I’m outraged. That’s why I’m calling for congressional hearings to right this horrible wrong.”

The Arizona senator called Teddy’s losing streak “one of the more traumatic experiences I’ve had as I watch my hero, my childhood idol, being treated in such a cavalier fashion.”

“He is Mount Rushmore’s Rodney Dangerfield,” Burns intones has he describes Teddy’s lot in modern day Washington, “a legendary president that gets no respect.”

Moments after the feature aired on ESPN, it had already inspired a “Make Teddy Win” charity campaign.

Charity Fund applies Game Theory to pressure Nats to Let Teddy Win

CORRECTION: Because of a tweet I attributed to Senator John McCain, I inadvertantly reported  Tuesday night that this fund had been established by McCain.  My apologies to Mr. Halperin and Mr. McCain.

Moments after  Tuesday night’s ESPN E:60 profile about the Let Teddy Win movement, Nats fan Jon Halperin announced the establishment of a charitable fund designed to put pressure on the Nationals to let Teddy win.

“I have been attending Nats games since April 14, 2005,” Halperin writes. “I have seen Teddy suffer vicious attacks and unfair disqualifications. After watching the ESPN E:60 report, I decided enough was enough. I am going to do something to help ‘Make Teddy Win’.

Halperin set up the fund at Indiegogo.com, and is soliciting donations from members of the movement. 50% of the funds collected will be designated to be split between the DC Central Kitchen and the The Fisher House Foundation.

Then here’s where it gets interesting, as Halperin applies a little game theory logic on the Nationals:

If the Teddy wins a race this year and the win is officially recognized in the standings by the team, then 50% of the funds collected will go to the Nationals’ own Dream Foundation. If Teddy doesn’t win, those funds will be split between the other two charities.

“I have been going to Nats games since they moved back to DC and I have always cheered for Teddy,” Halperin told me via email. “I wanted to pick causes that all of DC area can support. The Fisher House does a great job supporting Military families while members of our Armed Forces are hospitalized and DC Central Kitchen helps fight against hunger and homelessness while providing job training. Also both organizations have a strong record of accountability.”

But will it work?

“I do think there is a certain amount,” Halperin says, “where the Nats would have to stop and think if its worth Letting Teddy Win.”

The goal set for the campaign is $6,000, but here’s hoping Teddy fans will bust through that mark (it might take more than that to sway the Nats).

ESPN’s E:60 profiles the Let Teddy Win movement (Preview)

ESPN’s E:60 will will be profiling the Let Teddy Win movement this Tuesday night at 7:00pm on ESPN and WatchESPN.com. I haven’t seen the final piece by Michael Johns, but he set out to produce the definitive documentary on the presidents race and Teddy Roosevelt’s travails, visiting Nationals Park and the area monuments with the presidents earlier this season.

ESPN got a lot of cooperation from the Nats, so it’s good to see this airing before the postseason.  It seemed doubtful the Nats would let Teddy win before before it aired.

UPDATE: Here it is, narrated by Ken Burns and featuring Senator John McCain.

U.S. Embassy tweets about racing presidents Gangnam Style dance

The Nationals’ racing presidents “Gangnam Style” dance during the recently-completed homestand has quickly become the most viewed presidents race video of all time, having been picked up by media outlets and bloggers worldwide.

Gangnam Style racing presidents Washington NationalsThe Rushmores’ riff on the Korean dance pop phenomenon further cemented the racing presidents’ role in popular culture, reaching as far as the U.S. Embassy in Seoul, Korea, which tweeted the following:

“#GangnamStyle has infiltrated Washington! Watch the Presidents salute Psy at a @Nationals game.”

In Korean, of course:

Racing Presidents Gangnam Style Korea US Embassy Tweetb

Video: The Post Profiles some seriously insane Nats fan

When The Washington Post asked me to stay mic’d up during yesterday’s game, I wasn’t sure what to expect.

Here it is. The Post released the companion video to presidential speechwriter Paul Orzulak’s must-read opinion piece on the Let Teddy Win movement, and well, the video speaks for itself.

I am amazed by how quickly producer Brad Horn pieced this together.

Orzulak calls for Teddy to win on August 18

If presidential speechwriter Paul Orzulak gets his way, Teddy Roosevelt will win the Nationals’ 500th presidents race on August 18.

Washington Nationals' Teddy RooseveltIn an opus for the Washington Post opinion pages entitled “Seriously, Nats: It’s time for Teddy to win,” Orzulak presents the most thorough and cogent case yet for the Washington Nationals to finally let Teddy win.

“In the long history of organized sports, no team or individual at the collegiate or professional level has ever lost 500 times in a row,” Orzulak writes.

But that is, in fact, the fate that awaits Teddy on August 18, rainouts or extra overtime races notwithstanding.

“Teddy winning wouldn’t just make sense for the 2012 Nats — it could even boost the national mood,” Orzulak writes, laying out a meticulous list of president Roosevelt’s qualifications and of the injustices handed his 2012 counterpart.

It’s today’s must read. Video report to follow.

NPR Charts Teddy Roosevelt’s Losses

Over the weekend, I noticed that NPR’s data journalist Matt Stiles had created a data set based on this blog (yes, I find these things). His plans weren’t clear until yesterday, when he published Charting Presidential Mascot Races at The Daily Viz.

Presidents race results chart by Matt Stiles

Let Teddy Win Word TreeStiles says he tries to create a data visualization every day, and the above chart does a nice job of visualizing Abe Lincoln’s slow decline.

Stiles also set up a link where you can create word trees from the blog based on any keyword you choose.

Check it out …if you want to waste your lunch hour.

Teddy Roosevelt costume has race fans seeing double

Teddy Roosevelt costume design - Photo by Wade ChiTeddy Roosevelt costume - Photo by Wade ChiTeddy Roosevelt costume at Nationals Park - Photo by Wade ChiEach October, readers write to ask where they can get a Teddy Roosevelt costume, and I’ve never had a good answer. Finally, Nationals fan Wade Chi took matters into his own hands.

“It took about 8 nights spread across a few weeks,” Chi told me, “[but] this
past halloween, i made a giant racing Teddy head and went around Arlington as Racing Teddy.”

Using “chicken wire, Elmers glue, newspapers, and a bunch of paint,” Chi pulled off what others only dream of.

He wanted to get a photo in his costume with the real racing Teddy Roosevelt, but Chi wasn’t sure he’d be allowed to bring the costume into Nationals Park, and couldn’t get an answer from the Nationals.

Finally, on Sunday, Chi decided to just show up and give it a try.

He was turned away by security at first, but was persistent, and a wise Nationals Park supervisor let him in. A full account can be found on his blog.

Given last weekend’s brutal heat, Chi didn’t keep the costume on for long, but he got what he wanted — a photo with the  Bull Moose himself.

Check out Chi’s full account of the building process from last October, including this time lapse video.

Photos and video: Wade Chi

Guest report from Teddy Roosevelt’s out of town fan club

Today Let Teddy Win brings you a guest post by Brian Ketchum, who recently chaperoned a group of 78 U.S. history students from Hillwood Middle School in Ft. Worth TX to Washington, DC to visit Nationals Park and cheer for Teddy Roosevelt:

As Hillwood Middle School in Fort Worth, Texas got ready for our yearly 8th grade trip to Washington D.C., we asked the kids, what do you want to do when you are in D.C.? One thing that everyone wanted was to see a game at Nationals Park.

The teachers, already well aware, informed the kids of the tradition at the ballpark, the President Race, and LetTeddyWin.com; so when it was time to design t-shirts for the week, the kids overwhelming voted on custom National jerseys with Roosevelt #26 on them.

Hillwood Middle School visits Teddy Roosevelt before Nationals ParkHillwood School Teddy Roosevelt Mustache FansNationals Teddy Roosevelt visits Let Teddy Win fans from Texas at Nationals ParkNationals Park racing president Teddy Roosevelt with fans from Hillwood Middle SchoolNationals Park scoreboard Hillwood SchoolHillwood Middle School Nationals Park extra innings sleep asleepBefore the game began, we made an “executive” decision to make a rare visit to Theodore Roosevelt Island to see Teddy himself, and look for guidance before we went to cheer him on. Some of the kids wondered if having so many fans there would push Teddy to victory. After each member of the group touched him for good luck, we headed to the ballpark.

We loved Nationals Park. It’s immaculately clean, from the concourse, to the seats, to even the bathrooms. The ushers were very nice and helpful for such a large group of Teddy fans. The view of the Capitol dome and Washington Monument from the Right Field Terrace are stunning.

The game was cruising along with pitchers for both teams working fast, and before you knew, the Presidents were off and running. This race was just ridiculous! The kids yelled “LET’S GO TEDDY” over and over, but they moved the finish line to the opposite side and Abe biked instead of running. Needless to say, the Teddy fans felt cheated. This is no way to treat a Bull Moose. We firmly believe that Abe should be tested for PEDs.

After the race, while some of the kids were looking for the eight pound StrasBurger, (they didn’t find it), the game got interesting.  Both managers emptied their bullpens as the game wore on. The crowd shrunk as the game entered extra innings.

We received a surprise visit from Teddy, who came and joined us in section 238. He combed his moustache, cleaned his glasses, and took photos with the group. It was pretty cool to meet the great Hero of San Juan Hill. The kids were excited.

The Teddy fans were exhausted and ready for bed, but they had decided they were staying until the last out. A few of them, (myself included) admitted they were hoping it would go to the 13th for an extra innings President’s race.

The Nationals TV and scoreboard crew must have noticed the loud group from the living Hillwood Middle school because they showed us over and over on the TV broadcast along with nearly every half inning on the HD scoreboard.

The Mets rallied from behind to take leads in the top of the eighth, 10th and 12th innings — only to have the Nationals tie the game in the bottom of the frame each time. The game was finally won on Bryce Harper’s first career walk off. History was witnessed.

Hopefully the first of many.

After years of being the NL East’s doormat, The new Nationals are 1st in War, 1st in Peace, and 1st in the National League East.

Now if only we could bust this trust and give Teddy a shot to bask in the glory. Maybe he’ll win the first playoff game. Maybe that will be this year…

Photos/Brian Ketchum. For more on the Hillwood DC trip visit Coachketcham.com.

Teddy Fans from Texas to invade Nationals Park tonight

Let Teddy Win Fans at Roosevelt IslandTeddy Roosevelt fans heading to Nationals Park tonight might want to check out the party in the Right Field Terrace, where a group of enthusiastic Teddy Roosevelt fans will be cheering on #26 during the 4th inning presidents race.

The group of American history students is on its 8th-grade visit to Washington, DC from Hillwood Middle school in Ft. Worth Texas. Faithful readers may recall the night they took over Nationals Park two years ago. The group once again voted on homemade Teddy #26 jerseys for their trip t-shirt.

In preparation for tonight’s contest, the group visited Roosevelt Island this afternoon, to give Teddy an inspirational pep talk.

We’ll be featuring a guest blog post from the Ft. Worth students later in the week.

Photo via Twitter/@DCLikeALocal

The Orioles’ Adam Jones weighs in on Teddy and the racing presidents

Baltimore Oriole Adam Jones is a Washington Nationals Presidents Race Teddy Roosevelt fanBaltimore Orioles star center fielder was warming up before Saturday’s game at Nationals Park, waiting for the Nationals to finish batting practice, and chatting with teammates about the Nationals’ racing presidents.

“Teddy never wins,” Jones asked. “Why doesn’t Teddy ever win?”

Jones, as it turns out, is a Teddy Roosevelt fan. He doesn’t miss the presidents race when the Orioles play the Nationals, knows about Jayson Werth’s attempts to help Teddy Roosevelt last season, and has a problem with the injustice served out nightly to the great president and war hero.

“They need to let him win,” Jones told me.

For Jones, the presidents race is a realization of a childhood misunderstanding.

“When I was like 5 years old, I thought they really held a race to determine who was going to be president,” he said. “I thought ‘that’s crazy,’ but I actually thought that’s how we picked the president.”

Jones’ memory triggered a novel suggestion. “I’d like to see them get some real presidents out there,” he said. “Have George W. race Obama. Who do you think would win that race?”

Jones sported a Let Teddy Win button until it was time to take the field, leading MLB.com to suggest that Jones’ homer Saturday was just following Teddy’s motto: “Speak softly and carry a big stick.”

Orioles Adam Jones takes BP with presidents race Let Teddy winBaltimore Orioles Adam Jones Let Teddy Win

Orioles Adam Jones supports Teddy Roosevelt in the Washington Nationals Presidents Race by wearing a Let Teddy Win button

Photo/MLB.com

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