Video: Nats Racing presidents leave Taft behind in RFK throwback race

William Howard Taft is lostNationals Racing PresidentsBefore 2008, when the racing presidents moved to Nationals Park, the Nats’ fledgling fourth inning race started from RFK Stadium’s right field corner.

On Tuesday night, the presidents continued their season-long tribute to ten years of National history as the original four presidents — Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, and Roosevelt — started the race once again from the right field corner.

William Howard Taft, who didn’t join the Rushmore Four until 2013, didn’t get the memo, starting instead from the centerfield gate. Taft never had a chance, and Abe won the short sprint to the finish.

Video courtesy of lfahome

Video: ESPN’s Doug Glanville helps Teddy Roosevelt on Earth Day

Doug Glanville Teddy Roosevelt Washington NationalsDoug Glanville Washington Nationals Presidents RaceDoug Glanville Washington Nationals Presidents Race

ESPN’s Doug Glanville joined racing president Teddy Roosevelt to celebrate Earth Day and the 25th anniversary of the Hubble Space Telescope during Wednesday’s presidents race at Nationals Park.

The Ivy League engineer and former major leaguer helped the Rough Rider set up a telescope along the first base line, presumably to help Teddy find the Hubble in orbit.

Meanwhile, Teddy’s fellow racing presidents Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, and Taft entered from the center field gate aboard bicycles.

As George, Tom, Abe, and Bill approached the finish line, Glanville raised his arms to block their path, and invited them to get off their bikes and look into the telescope.

The ol’ misdirection ploy worked like a charm, and with Washington leaning into the telescope Teddy turned and took off for the finish line.

The presidents’ bicycles were donated by Capital Bikeshare, to promote Earth Day of course.

Photos and video: Washington Nationals

Video: Nats Racing Presidents relive the first-ever presidents race to kick off “Ten Year Tuesdays” celebration

10 year Tuesday Nationals Throwback presidents raceNationals Throwback presidents race scoreboardGeorge Washington wins 10 year tuesdayThe Nationals kicked off a season of “Ten Year Tuesdays” this evening at Nationals Park, featuring theme events and giveaways to celebrate ten years of Nationals history. So in the fourth inning, the racing presidents chipped in with a tribute of their own.

Back in 2006, before the Lerner family bought the Washington Nationals from Major League Baseball, the Nationals presidents race was simply an animated scoreboard diversion on the original RFK Stadium “jumbotron” (the graphics, which were limited by the RFK scoreboard, look positively primitive by today’s standards).

On Tuesday night, rather than run a live race, the original Rushmore Four — George Tom, Abe, and Teddy — lined up by the finish line with giant joysticks and looked toward the Nationals Park scoreboard, where they “replayed” the inaugural video game version of the presidents race.

As William Howard Taft looked on, George Washington was able to relive his historic victory of April 11, 2006 before then turning to cross the finish line.

Video courtesy of lfahome

Video: Screech teams with Teddy and Taft to win presidents race relay on his birthday

Screech wins Nationals Presidents RaceScreech wins Nationals Presidents Race birthdayThe Nationals racing presidents have produced a lot of unusual antics over the years, but Sunday’s fourth inning race brought something Nats fans had never seen: mascot Screech the Eagle crossing the finishing line to take the victory just ahead of “Honest” Abe Lincoln.

The victory capped an afternoon-long celebration of Screech’s birthday, with mascots from other mid-Atlantic sports teams on hand to help celebrate.

In previous years, those visiting mascots had interfered with the race, but this year it was Screech’s turn in the spotlight, teaming with Teddy Roosevelt and William Howard Taft against Washington, Jefferson, and Lincoln as the visiting mascots cheered from the finish line.

Video courtesy of lfahome

Taft recruits rats from National Opera to ambush his fellow racing presidents

Racing presidents ambush TaftRacing presidents ambush William Howard TaftWashington National Opera Rats ambush Nationals Racing PresidentsWashington Nationals Racing President William Howard TaftWhether William Howard Taft is a rat may be subject to debate, but Saturday left no doubt whether the newest racing president hangs out with them.

After Taft won his second race on Friday, his fellow racing presidents decided they needed to put the Big Chief in his place, and so on Saturday afternoon at Nationals Park, the original Rushmores planned an ambush.

Unfortunately for them, Taft had an ambush of his own in the works.

George, Tom, Abe, and Teddy turned on Taft shortly after the race began, surrounding him on the outfield warning track and forcing him to the ground.

All seemed lost for big Bill as his fellow presidents turned and continued toward the outfield corner.

That’s when a half dozen rats emerged from the bullpen in right field. The rats were friends of Taft’s, currently rehearsing at the Kennedy Center for next month’s Washington National Opera production of Cinderella.

As the rats jumped on the Rushmores and held them to the ground, the portly Taft caught up from behind and lumbered past the field unopposed to claim his third victory of the young season.

Here’s the race as called at Nationals Park by P.A. Announcer Jerome Hruska, followed by our finish line video:

Finish line video courtesy of lfahome

GIF: The Easter Bunny tackles Teddy Roosevelt on Opening Day

Easter Bunny tackles racing president Teddy Roosevelt Nationals Slo Mo GIFEaster Bunny Tackles Teddy RooseveltEaster Bunny tackles TeddyHope and anticipation were in the air Monday at Nationals Park, as a sellout crowd of over 42,000 fans came to see new ace Max Scherzer and the Washington Nationals open their 2015 campaign.

Sadly, Scherzer’s masterful outing was wasted, as defensive miscues made some in attendance wonder whether things really would be different this time.

The 4th inning presidents race brought a similar feeling of deja vu for longtime Nationals fans. In a relay race that featured only the original Rushmore Four, Teddy Roosevelt bolted ahead of the pack when The Easter Bunny jumped out from the stands to tackle George Washington.

But Teddy stopped short of the finish line to celebrate, and William Howard Taft appeared to summon the Bunny from the outfield.

The Bunny lept over a table to take out The Rough Rider, handing Taft the opening day victory.

Above is a slo-mo GIF of the takedown. Below are videos of the race…
(1) as called in the stadium
(2) as recapped on the ESPN broadcast, and
(3) as seen in our finish line video:

Finish line video for LetTeddyWin.com by lfahome.

Nationals “Ten Years Of…” campaign kicks off with new team ads, more giveaways, and a custom brew, plus changes at Nationals Park

The Washington Nationals revealed more details of their planned year-long tenth anniversary celebration Tuesday at Nationals Park, including new giveaway items, concessions, and an anniversary ad campaign, plus some features being added to the ballpark itself.

Valerie Camillo at Nationals ParkWashington Nationals Ads Ten years of Washington Nationals Ads Ten years of Washington Nationals Ads Ten years of Washington Nationals Ads Ten years of Washington Nationals Ads Ten years of Nationals Bobbleheads and giveawaysChief Marketing and Revenue Officer Valerie Camillo has embraced the team’s fans on social media, and upped the ante Tuesday by hosting a small group of active fans at the ball park, announcing the new programs, and asking them to share the news via social media.

Among the many pillars of the year-long campaign is be an effort to thank the DC community for supporting the Nationals. The thank-you effort will include unexpected acts of thanks, kicking off on Wednesday as team representatives will show up at a Maryland McDonald’s location and pay for lunch for all patrons who show up during that hour.

Elements of the team’s new ad campaign were also revealed. The “Ten Years Of…” theme will focus on ten years of memorable game moments, but also embrace other aspects of the fan experience, including the development of a young fan base in the DC community.

The previously-announced promotion/giveaway schedule was enhanced with details about several new giveaway items tied to fan-inspired “theme nights.” For 80s night, fans will receive a Nationals-themed rubiks cube. For Star Wars day, fans will receive a Nats-themed R2D2 beverage coozie. For college night, fans will receive fairly large and substantial-looking tailgate chairs in UVA colors. Quantities have yet to be announced.

Images of the first three “10 Year” commemorative bobblehead dolls show Livan Hernandez throwing the first pitch in Nationals history in his road uniform, Ryan Zimmerman pumping his fist after walking off the first game in Nationals Park history, and Stephen Strasburg tipping his cap after his major league debut.

Finally, the 10th anniversary nesting doll was revealed to including dolls of Max Scherzer, Bryce Harper, Ryan Zimmerman, Chad Cordero, and Frank Robinson. All changes have been updated here

Nationals Park itself gets two significant updates for 2015. The locations of notable home runs in Nationals history will receive permanent recognition in the form of red painted seats. The initial “inductees,” chosen based on distance and historical significance, include Ryan Zimmerman’s home run from the stadium’s first game in 2008, Adam LaRoche and Bryce Harper’s two third level home runs from April, 2014, Jayson Werth’s 2012 NLDS Game 4 walk-off home run, Michael Morse’s Red Porch dinger from July, 2012, and Bryce Harper’s third level shot during the 2014 playoffs.

In the Club Level, or more accurately, The Norfolk Southern Clubhouse level, a first-of-its-kind mechanical scoreboard wall has been installed to provide game updates for those taking advantage of the club’s indoor amenities during the game.

The wall-sized scoreboard features model trains that move along tracks to indicate balls, strikes, and outs, and pop out of bases to indicate baserunners. Above the club level, a model train will now run nonstop during and after the games.

New food options were not discussed, however Camillo shared that a beer cart will be featuring a custom brew made specifically for the Nationals’ tenth anniversary season. Its name: Sam Adams Nats Anniversary IPA.

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