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.

Nationals 2015 Promotion/Giveaway Scedule: Bobbleheads, nesting dolls, garden gnome, Jayson Werth Chia pet, Star Wars night and more highlight 10th anniversary celebration

NOTE: Updated to include all dates and giveaway items

Washington Nationals Chief Revenue and Marketing Officer Valerie Camillo revealed details of the Nats’ 2015 promotion schedule at a season plan holder event Saturday at Nationals Park. Highlights include bobbleheads, a garden gnome, nesting dolls, and theme nights suggested by fans.
Washington Nationals Chief Revenue and Marketing Officer Valerie Camillo

Washington Nationals Commemorative Tin

Washington Nationals 10 year anniversary logo 20152015 marks the tenth anniversary of baseball’s return to Washington, and the milestone will be the centerpiece of the team’s marketing campaign, with season-long promotions celebrating ten years of memorable moments. Fans will be encouraged to use the hashtag #Nat10nals in social media throughout the year.

The theme will be highlighted on what the team is calling “10-Year Tuesdays,” one Tuesday each month that will feature special guests, pregame ceremonies, and a collectible keepsake for the first 10,000 fans. The giveaways collectively will fit inside a commemorative tin, which will be the giveaway for the first 25,000 fans on opening day.

The tin features a new 10 year anniversary logo that will also appear on jerseys worn by Nationals players and coaches, official game balls, bases and lineup cards throughout the season.

Five bobbleheads will be distributed commemorating great moments in Nationals history. As was announced last week, these and five other major giveaway items were being revealed by fans as part of the Ten Days of Teddy promotion.

Livan Hernandez Bobblehead

Livan Hernandez Bobblehead

Commemorative items include a Livan Hernandez bobblehead commemorating the Nationals’ first game, a Ryan Zimmerman bobblehead commemorating the first game at Nationals Park, a Stephen Strasburg bobblehead commemorating his 14-strikeout major league debut, a Jayson Werth bobblehead commemorating his playoff game 4 walk-off from 2012, and a Jordan Zimmermann bobblehead commemorating his 2014 no-hitter. Other items revealed include a commemorative mini lineup card from the 2005 inaugural game, a commemorative coin and a bottle stopper that Camillo says will be perfect for wine bottles. Camillo told the crowd that a sixth bobblehead is still a possibility.

2015 promotions will also include Nationals commemorative nesting dolls featuring Max Scherzer, Bryce Harper, Ryan Zimmerman, Chad Cordero, and Frank Robinson. Ten lucky fans will randomly receive unique handmade “golden ticket” dolls that are more elaborate and contain ten dolls each.

Last year’s Jayson Werth Garden Gnome was the most popular giveaway in team history, and so another gnome giveaway is planned featuring Anthony Rendon. Camillo teased that a unique new giveaway scheduled for August 5 could top the garden gnome in fan popularity. UPDATE: That item will be a Jayson Werth Chia Pet. Camillo said this is the first baseball giveaway of its kind.

Saturday, May 9 will be dedicated to the inaugural 2005 team and its Hall of Fame skipper Frank Robinson. Robinson will return to Nationals Park where he’ll be joined by former players and special guests, and watch as his name is added to the Nationals Park ring of fame.

By popular demand, the team will also introduce “theme nights,” an idea borrowed from other teams an reportedly the subject of frequent suggestions by fans. July 19 will be Star Wars day, in which fans will receive an R2D2 drink coozie. Here’s guessing there will be more than one wookie showing up wearing Werth’s #28 jersey.

The known dates are on the schedule below. Additional dates Nats postgame live concerts will be updated here as they are announced:

2015 Washington Nationals
Promotion / Giveaway Schedule

Date/Time Opponent Promotion
Mon 4/6 NYM Commemorative Tin (25,000 fans)
Mon 4/8 NYM Rally Towel (all fans)
Thu 4/16 PHI Black Heritage Night
Fri 4/17 PHI Military Appreciation Night
Sat 4/18 PHI Pups in the Park
Sun 4/19 PHI Screech’s Birthday
Scout Day #1
Kids Run the Bases
Signature Sunday
Tue 4/21 STL 10-Year Tuesday:
Stationery Set
(10,000 fans)
Mon 5/4 MIA Great Moments in Nationals History:
Livan Hernandez Bobblehead Commemorating 2005 First Game in Nationals History 
(25,000 fans)
Tue 5/5 MIA 10-year Tuesday:
Commemorative Bottle Stopper 
(10,000 fans)
Wed 5/6 MIA Weather Day
Fri 5/8 ATL U.S. Navy Night
Sat 5/9 ATL 10th Anniversary Day with Frank Robinson
Sun 5/10 ATL Kids Run the Bases
Signature Sunday
Tue 5/19 NYY Tote Bag (25,000 fans)
Sat 5/23 PHI Women in the Military Day
Pups in the Park
Mon 5/24 PHI 10th Anniversary Poster (10,000 fans)
Kids Run the Bases
Signature Sunday
Mon 6/1 TOR U.S. Army Night
$1 Hot Dogs
Tue 6/2 TOR 10-Year Tuesday
Commemorative Coin
(10,000 fans)
Wed 6/3 TOR Pups in the Park
Thu 6/4 CHC Great Moments in Nationals History:
Ryan Zimmerman Bobblehead Commemorating 2008 Opening Day of Nats Park 
(25,000 fans)
Sun 6/7 CHC Kids Run the Bases
Signature Sunday
Yoga in the Outfield
Wed 6/17 TAM LGBT Night Out
Thu 6/18 TAM Ladies Night
Fri 6/19 PIT Pilsner Cup (15,000 fans age 21+)
Sat 6/20 PIT Seniors Stroll the Bases (age 55+)
Champions Day – High School
Scout Day #2
Sun 6/21 PIT Pups in the Park
Kids Run the Bases
Signature Sunday
Wed 6/24 ATL College Rivalry Night:
Virginia vs. Virginia Tech
Nats Themed Folding Tailgate Chair (# TBA)
Fri 7/3 SFG Post-game fireworks
Sun 7/5 SFG Great Moments in Nationals History:
Stephen Strasburg Bobblehead 
Commemorating
14-Strikeout 2010 Debut 
(25,000 fans)
Kids Run the Bases
Signature Sunday
Mon 7/6 CIN Social Fan Event
Tue 7/7 CIN 10-Year Tuesday:
Lapel Pin
(10,000 fans)
Sat 7/18 LAD Scout Day #3
Sun 7/19 LAD Star Wars Day
Kids Run the Bases
Signature Sunday
R2D2 Drink Coozie (# TBA)
Tue 7/21 NYM U.S Marine Corps Night
Wed 7/22 NYM Camp Day
Tue 8/4 ARI 10-Year Tuesday:
Replica 2005 Ticket
(10,000 fans)
Wed 8/5 ARI Jayson Werth Chia Pet (25,000 fans)
Thu 8/6 ARI U.S Coast Guard Night
Fri 8/7 COL Post-game fireworks
Sun 8/9 COL Kids Run the Bases
Signature Sunday
Fri 8/21 MIL Cap (15,000 fans)
Sun 8/23 MIL Kids Run the Bases
Signature Sunday
Tue 8/25 SDG Anthony Rendon Garden Gnome (25,000 fans)
Thu 8/27 SDG Pet Day: Player Pet Calendar (10,000 fans)
Sat 8/29 MIA 80s Night
Nats Themed Rubiks Cube (# TBA)
Sun 8/30 MIA Great Moments in Nationals History:
Jayson Werth Bobblehead 
Commemorating 2012 NLDS Game 4 Walk-off Home Run (25,000 fans)
Kids Run the Bases
Signature Sunday
Thu 9/3 ATL Nesting Doll (20,000 fans)
Pups in the Park
Sun 9/6 ATL Kids Run the Bases
Signature Sunday
Tue 9/8 ATL 10-Year Tuesday:
2005 inaugural game miniature lineup card
Wed 9/16 NYM Patriotic Series: Heroes Day
Thu 9/17 MIA Hispanic Heritage Day
Fyi 9/18 MIA U.S Air Force Night
Sat 9/19 MIA Faith Day
Sun 9/20 MIA Kids Run the Bases
Signature Sunday
Fri 9/25 PHI Great Moments in Nationals History:
Jordan Zimmermann Bobblehead 
Commemorating
His 2014 Final Game No-hitter 
(25,000 fans)
Sat 9/26 PHI Pups in the Park
Sun 9/27 PHI Gloves (25,000 fans)
Kids Run the Bases
Signature Sunday

“Ten Days of Teddy” let’s fans reveal Nationals 2015 Promotion/Giveaway Schedule

Washington Nationals Teddy Roosevelt Racing President Promotion ScheduleThe Washington Nationals promotion/giveaway schedule — including the identities of the 2015 bobblehead days — will be revealed over the first ten weekdays of February by fans, with the help of racing president Teddy Roosevelt.

Each weekday from February 1st-13th between 11:00am and 1:00pm, Teddy Roosevelt will appear somewhere in the DC metropolitan area and tweet about his location. The first fans to find him each day and show him the tweet will find out the date of a promotional giveaway and get to make the announcement from their own Twitter accounts.

The Nationals announced the plan this morning via the team blog. Teddy can be followed @Teddy26Nats.

Nationals racing president tryouts set for January 25

Washington Nationals racing presidents new starting lineNationals presidents race tryoutsNationals Racing President AuditionsIf you’ve ever dreamed of participating in the Washington Nationals’ iconic presidents race, here’s your chance.

The Nats are looking for men and women to take on the roles of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, William Howard Taft, and yes, Theodore Roosevelt for the 2015 Major League Baseball season.

Applications are being accepted at Nationals.com.

Applicants must be at least 5’7” in height and be in good enough physical shape to run 200 yards in the sun wearing a 50-pound costume in approximately 40 seconds or less. Between forty and sixty applicants are typically selected for invitations to audition.

Tryouts this year are closed to the public. In previous seasons, candidates have been asked to race against each other, run a 40-yard dash, dance, and show their celebration skills during the auditions, which are held rain or shine.

For a sense of what’s in store for applicants, check out one of our video chronicles from a few years back:

Fans blame Teddy Roosevelt for Nats playoff collapse

For six years from 2006 through 2012, Washington Nationals fans talked of The Curse of Teddy Roosevelt, and everybody knew what they meant: Teddy’s continued losses in the team’s presidents race were seen as a curse that kept the team from winning.

Washington Nationals Teddy Roosevelt Scratched Injured Day to DayAbe Lincoln pushes Teddy Roosevelt to the Ground - Washington Nationals presidents race

Jayson Werth interferes with the Nationals presidents race

Outfielder Jayson Werth attempted to interfere with the presidents race in September, 2011. “People can laugh,” Werth said. “To me, the Presidents Race and Teddy Roosevelt are very symbolic of where this organization goes.”

But since the Rough Rider won his first-ever presidents race title this year, and extended his victorious ways into the 2014 postseason, many fans have concluded that the Nats are doomed to playoff failure precisely because Teddy is now winning.

An informal review of this week’s playoff chatter on Twitter (excerpts below) reveals a strong anti-Teddy Roosevelt sentiment that grew with each Bull Moose victory and each Nationals postseason loss.

So how did this happen?

Talk of a curse among fans goes back to the days of RFK Stadium, and was the inspiration for this blog, but of course back then it was Teddy’s failure to win that was the problem.

After the team opened Nationals Park and Teddy’s losing streak passed the 250 mark, Washington Times columnist Thom Loverro first compared it to famous baseball curses that had prevented the Cubs and Red Sox from winning for generations.

When the Nationals signed free agent Jayson Werth in 2011, the team’s new outfielder spoke openly of the curse, going so far as to say that the Nats wouldn’t win if Teddy didn’t as well.

Before his first season had ended, Werth had personally tried to interfere and stop Teddy’s losing streak.

Even the next season when the team built the best record in baseball, Werth continued to insist that Teddy’s losing streak was a curse.

Teddy Roosevelt Racing President dot drawing from page A1 of the Wall Street Journal, September 29, 2012

Teddy Roosevelt dot drawing from the front page of The Wall Street Journal
September 29, 2012

As the Nats improved on the field and Teddy’s streak passed 500 losses, a Ken Burns mini-documentary plus cover stories in The Wall Street Journal and other media outlets turned the curse into a national story. Even The White House called for a victory by Teddy to break the curse.

Then remarkably, just before the team’s first playoff appearance in 2012, Huffington Post editor Brandon Wetherbee, a longtime Cubs fan, pleaded that the Nats not let Teddy Win until after the team won the World Series. He argued that a Teddy victory followed by anything short of a championship would forever link Roosevelt to a reversed curse, much like the Curse of the Billy Goat that has haunted Cubs fans since 1945.

How prophetic he was.

The Nats clinched the 2012 division title, then the team let Teddy win on the last day of the 2012 season and again in the playoffs, and Teddy has won each of the team’s postseason races since.

When the Nationals failed to beat the Cardinals in the 2012 NLDS, a few people blamed Teddy:

But when the Nationals got off to a poor start in 2013, this sort of record-keeping became common practice after every Nationals loss:

Even as the Nats record improved and they roared back into playoff contention in 2013, a new myth was establishing itself: the Nationals had taken a turn for the worse since they let Teddy Win. When the 2014 season began and for the first time Teddy started winning more frequently, the myth grew:

You get the point.

So what’s the actual record say?

That data is hardly conclusive. Teddy only started winning regularly this year, and during the recently-completed 2014 regular season, the Nationals won an impressive 69% of games in which Teddy won the presidents race:

2014 Results


President
Regular
Season
Record
Team
Record
Team
Winning
%
Roosevelt 26 18-8 69%
Lincoln 25 15-10 60%
Taft 12 9-3 73%
Jefferson 11 5-6 45%
Washington 10 5-5 50%

This record includes two occasions in which the Nats played a 13-inning home game. Both times, Teddy won the late “bonus” race, and the team lost.  Counting only the regular fourth-inning race, the team was 18-6 (75%) when Teddy won.

But the story changes during the postseason. Since Teddy’s first win in 2012, the Nats have played five home playoff games. Teddy has won all of the presidents races, including two during Saturday’s 18-inning contest, and the team has posted a dismal 1-4 record.

Thus the curse.

As you can see, the Twitter curse talk started slowly after the Nats’ Game 1 loss:

Then came game 2. Teddy won the 4th inning race, and then the team suffered a blown save in the 9th inning. In the 13th inning, Teddy won again. Finally, the Nationals lost by a score of 2-1 in epic, record-breaking, heart-wrenching 18-inning fashion, and the chatter really picked up:

When the Nats hit the road and won game three in San Francisco, things quieted down. The momentum had shifted, but people still were getting digs in at Teddy. Then came game 4, in which defensive gaffes and wild pitches led to all three of the Giants’ decisive runs. The Nats were eliminated in embarrassing fashion.

Somebody had to take the blame:

It seems likely that until the Nationals win the World Series, this myth will continue to propogate, but I’d like to offer an alternative interpretation of things. The Nationals introduced a fifth racing president, William Howard Taft, after the 2012 season. Perhaps it’s a #TaftCurse that kept the Nats out of the playoffs last year, and caused this year’s postseason meltdown. Taft knocked things out of balance. He’s not one of the Mount Rushmore four. Get rid of Taft, and perhaps harmony will be restored at Nationals Park.

Tunnel photo: Anthony Gualtieri

Video: Fans sacrifice rubber chicken, burn sage outside Nationals Park in advance of Game 3

As the Washington Nationals arrive in San Francisco with their backs to the wall in the National League Division Series playoffs, fans back home have taken matters into their own hands.

Nationals Fan Rubber Chicken SacrificeJenn Rubenstein burning sageNationals Fan Rubber Chicken SacrificeNationals Fan Rubber Chicken SacrificeLongtime Nats fan and self-titled “Rubber Chicken Man” Hugh Kaufman led a group of 14 fans in an impromptu gathering outside Nationals Park on Sunday Afternoon, where they performed a ritual sacrifice of a rubber chicken, and burned sage outside the centerfield gate.

Kaufman said the coaching staff was aware of the event and appreciated the fan support. “We’re going to take the bad juju and give it to the chicken,” he said, “so that when the Nats play in San Francisco…they’re going to win.”

After the chicken was beheaded, Kaufman carried the decapitated rubber toy around the centerfield gate as fellow fan Jenn Rubenstein burned sage in an act known as smudging, which is reputed to bless a house and dispel it of negative energy and influences.

Longtime readers know that when the Nationals had their backs to the wall in the 2012 playoffs, Kaufman and Rubenstein performed the ritual before Jayson Werth’s historic walk-off home run in Game 4 of that year’s NLDS.

Kaufman has conducted many sacrifices since 2005, but the only other sacrifice this season came after a Memorial Day loss that dropped the team’s record below .500. After that, the Nationals got hot, finishing the season 71-40.


Videos: Teddy shows nunchuck skills, wins two presidents races during epic 18-inning playoff game

Among the many firsts in a night of firsts Saturday at Nationals Park, The Nats racing presidents held their first-ever postseason presidents race doubleheader, running a second race as NLDS Game 2 dragged into the night.

Crab Nachos Libre Beef Nachos LibreTeddy Roosevelt NunchucksNLDS Game 1 Crab Nachos LibreIn the fourth inning, Teddy entered the race late, coming out of the bullpen to trail the pack as they approached the home stretch.

But the presidents all stopped short, because waiting at the finish line was one of the team’s oddest “guest” characters of the season, Crab Nachos Libre.

Making his third appearance of the season, Crab Nachos Libre was joined by a new character, “Beef Nachos Libre,” and together they posed, broke blocks of wood over a pair of folding chairs, and generally blocked the finish line.

That’s when Teddy Roosevelt pulled out a pair of nunchucks. With the Nationals Park crowd chanting his name, the Rough Rider dazzled his nemeses with a display of nunchuck skills, then George Washington and Abe Lincoln launched over the chairs to take down the dos hermanos. Teddy raced ahead for the victory.

Here’s the team’s official video as called in the stadium by Nats Park PA announcer Jerome Hruska:

And here’s our finish line video, in which a fan can be heard repeatedly saying “Oh my god. That should be illegal!”

Teddy Roosevelt extra innings 13th presidents race
With the score tied 1-1 in the 13th inning, the presidents appeared again to run their first ever extra-innings postseason race. Teddy used the extra TV time to stop the proceedings again, this time grabbing a “Let’s Go Nats!” sign and leading the crowd in cheers. Teddy took the victory, marking the third time this season that Teddy has won in extra innings.

The team sported an 18-6 regular season record during Teddy’s other victories this season, but when Teddy wins in extra innings, the Nats have been a disappointing 0-3.

Official race video: Washington Nationals
Finish line videos: lfahome

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