GIF: Abe Lincoln refuses to pass the baton to George Washington. Literally.

Abe Cheats - refuses to hand the baton to George Washington - hits racing presidentKnown for his dirty tricks, “Honest” Abe Lincoln has established himself as the winningest racing president since the opening of Nationals Park; but this season, George Washington has been the class of the field, holding a comfortable lead in the season standings since April.

Yet George has been unable to put away a resurgent Abe, and entered Thursday night’s contest still needing just one victory to seal the season.

In what began as a traditional relay race, Abe Lincoln was called upon to pass the baton to George Washington for the anchor leg, but the Great Emancipator wasn’t willing to hand the victory to his rival. Instead of passing the baton, Abe reared back and clobbered the founding father, stealing the victory for himself.

Full finish line video below, plus a slo-mo version:

Video courtesy of YouTube member lfahome

Video: Abe Lincoln finally cheats his way to presidents race victory

Racing presidents Abraham Lincoln William Howard Taft nationals parkNationals Presidents Race Abe Lincoln beats William Howard TaftAfter dominating the presidents race since Nationals Park opened, Abe Lincoln was 0-for-24 to start the 2013 season; but on Saturday night, “Honest” Abe returned to his cheating ways, and with an unlikely accomplice, took his first victory of the season.

Lincoln jumped the gun at the start accompanied by William Howard Taft, who joined Abe in the right field corner as the two set up a barricade to block the rest of the presidents.

That left Abe in a sprint to the finish against the portly Taft, a footrace he handled comfortably to nab victory number one. Abe and Teddy are now tied for last place in the presidents race standings.

Video courtesy of YouTube member lfahome

Abe cheats on tricycle. Screech fails to disqualify him.

Abe Lincoln Cheats Presidents Race Nationals ParkAbe Lincoln Cheats Presidents Race Washington NationalsAnyone who doubted the Nationals’ conspiracy against Teddy Roosevelt need only have witnessed the travesty on display at Nationals Park Tuesday night.

No, it wasn’t the Henry Rodriquez wild pitch, or the back-to-back bases-loaded strikeouts in the tenth, or the excuse for pitching the Mets trotted out in extra innings.  It was the blatant double standard on display as Abe Lincoln was handed a presidents race victory he didn’t deserve.

The Nationals moved the presidents race finish line to the third base side Tuesday, but only one president got the memo. George, Tom, and Teddy were first out of the gate, but stopped mid-race when they realized that Abe Lincoln had taken off in the other direction aboard a large tricycle.

As Lincoln approached the finish line, the Nats’ official race judge Screech didn’t hestitate to wave the checkered flag and declare Abe the winner.

Of course, Screech has previously disqualified Teddy Roosevelt for, among other things, riding a motor scooter, a golf cart, and a segway.  The hypocrisy was not lost on fans, as Twitter lit up immediately following the race:

@cnichols14: Why wasn’t Abe disqualified? If @Teddy26Nats had pulled that, he would have been!

@WallyHuron: @LetTeddyWin so teddy wins with a segway and is disqualified. But Abe wins with a bike and wins? IT’S A CONSPIRACY I SAY!

@msdavisteacher @LetTeddyWin not fair! They disqualified Teddy for a Segway last year. How can Abe use a bike?

Let Teddy Win Teddy Roosevelt fans at Nationals ParkHow indeed?

Tuesday’s Let Teddy Win cheering section of 8th-graders from Fort Worth, Texas remained an impressive presence in the Nationals Park Right Field Terrace through the full 12 innings, and even got a visit from the Bull Moose himself  after the presidents race was finished.

Video and guest blog report to follow.

Twitter Photo: @NatzfFan

Videos: Extra presidents race in 13th inning takes title away from Lincoln

Yesterday we reported that Abe Lincoln had clinched at least a share of the 2011 presidents race title, but on Saturday night at Nationals Park, the title was put back into doubt as a pitcher’s duel and a leprechaun conspired to achieve the impossible and actually knock two games off Lincoln’s lead.

Trailing Abe Lincoln in the standings by five wins with five games to go, Thomas Jefferson was hanging by a thread with only an outside chance at a tie for the season; but for just the eighth time in team history, the Nationals took a home game into the 13th inning, forcing a second official presidents race to be run in the middle of the 13th.

The Sage of Monticello jumped on the opportunity and notched two victories in one day, improbably moving within three games of Abe with four remaining. Lincoln, who thought he needed just one victory to clinch the title, now suddenly needs two.

Teddy Roosevelt is tackled by a LeprechaunTeddy Roosevelt is tackled by a LeprechaunThomas Jefferson wins extra-innings presidents race at Nationals ParkThe Nationals were celebrating “Half Way to St. Patrick’s Day,” with green hats, beer and Irish-themed festivities throughout the park, so it should not have surprised Teddy Roosevelt that a leprechaun was in the house.

Yet that didn’t stop the Rough Rider from running the presidents race carrying a box of Lucky Charms.

With the inebriated crowd chanting “Teddy! Teddy!” in the fourth inning, the leprechaun appeared from the Nationals bullpen and tackled Roosevelt as he turned the outfield corner, clearing the way for Jefferson to take his first victory of the night.

In the 13th, Teddy quickly separated himself from the pack, but failed to notice that the finish line had been moved for the extra-inning affair. George, Tom, and Abe raced counter-clockwise toward the third base finish line, leaving Teddy all alone in frustration at the conspiracy that robbed him of another victory.

The baseball gods have now conspired to give Thomas Jefferson a shot at knocking Lincoln off his perch. If TJ can pull off another win Sunday, it will set up an exciting final showdown next weekend.



Videos courtesy of YouTube member lfahome

Video: George Washington makes Lincoln look foolish

Since the team moved to Nationals Park in 2008, Abe Lincoln has been the president to beat, taking 46% of all races through a combination of aggressive tactics and suspicious bursts of speed in the stretch.

Washington Nationals racing president George Washington watches as Abe Lincoln fallsBut this week, George Washington, having finished second in the standings for three straight years, seems to have received a wake-up call, taking three of four races in similar fashion, with Abe-like bursts of speed.

On Tuesday night at Nationals Park, it was the George and Abe show once again. With Lincoln in the lead, Washington burst past him at the turn.

Abe, desperate to catch up, put on a burst of his own, but couldn’t catch the founding father, and fell flat on his face trying.

With the final month of the season looming, it appears notice has been served. If Abe Lincoln wants to continue his dynasty, he’s going to have to work for it.

Video courtesy of YouTube member lfahome

After high expectations are dashed, even Abe Lincoln implores the Nationals to Let Teddy Win

Washington Nationals Presidents Race 5-30-2011Abe Wins.  Teddy far behind.Abe Lincoln supports Teddy?The “Let Teddy Win” buzz hit a fever pitch on Memorial Day at Nationals Park, with rumors spreading rampant that after high-level meetings in the Nats’ front office, a decision had been made to finally let Teddy win.

From the stands to the press box, from Twitter to even the Phillies’ TV and radio broadcasts, word was spreading to watch for a breakout race from Teddy Roosevelt.

Even outspoken outfielder Jayson Werth, who had refused to watch Sunday’s race, stepped out of the dugout and onto the field to see the big event.

Fans and reporters alike approached to say they had come not to see Roy Halladay and the Phillies, but to see Teddy take victory #1. Yes, everybody got the message.

Except Teddy.

In possibly the most disappointing performance in five years, Teddy ran wire to wire in last place, and failed to even finish.

Even showboat Abe Lincoln, after taking his 13th victory of the season, grabbed a Let Teddy Win sign from the crowd and held it up in support.

Nats management clearly doesn’t buy into the notion that Teddy must win to break the curse that keeps their team in the basement; but after roughing up Phillies ace Roy Halladay only to end up on the losing end of another 1-run game, why continue to tempt fate?

Video courtesy of YouTube member lfahome

Abe Lincoln pays tribute to Randy “Macho Man” Savage

Nationals racing president Abe Lincoln tribute to Macho ManNationals racing president Abe Lincoln paid tribute to Randy “Macho Man” Savage, who died last week while the Nats were on the road.

Lincoln entered the race from the centerfield starting gate dressed in some of the professional wrestler’s famous trademark gear, including a huge cowboy hat, wild black and yellow sunglasses, and a championship wrestling belt.

Unfortunately for Abe, the hat fell over his face midway through the race, but our 16th president managed to yank off the hat and stumble past the other presidents at the finish line.

Note: Nationals intrepid PA Announcer Jerome Hruska fell ill, and in-game host Clint Khoury stepped in to call both the game and the presidents race, doing a nice job in Jerome’s absence.

Video courtesy of YouTube member lfahome

Video: Teddy knocks out showboating Abe Lincoln

After watching Abe Lincoln take 8 of the last 10 presidents races, the Great Emancipator got a little cocky, but Teddy Roosevelt decide to take things into his own hands on Sunday at Nationals Park.

Washington Nationals Presidents RaceAfter jumping out to a quick start, Lincoln turned around to taunt the other presidents, but Teddy caught up and slammed the Great Emancipator into the outfield scoreboard. Abe came up limp and failed to finish, as Thomas Jefferson pulled away for the victory.

In a post-race tweet, Teddy declared “How you like me now Abe? You won’t get in my way anymore!”

The Nats are mum regarding the extent, if any, of Honest Abe’s injuries.

Video courtesy of YouTube member lfahome

Photo Finish

In one of the closest presidents races in Nationals Park history, all four presidents ran neck and neck for nearly the entire length of the race on Saturday at Nationals Park. As they approached the finish line, George faded and Abe Lincoln put on a burst of speed as Tom and Teddy dove for the tape.

Lincoln has now won five of the last six races to take over the top position in the standings.

And that finish again, in Slow Motion!:

Video courtesy of YouTube member lfahome

Lincoln holds off challengers to take his 3rd title as the Nationals racing presidents bid farewell to Stan Kasten

In the end, it was no contest.

After a back and forth month in which both George Washington and Thomas Jefferson made strong runs at first place in the presidents race standings, back-to-back repeat champion Abraham Lincoln held off all challengers in the final race of the season, pulling away for a convincing victory and claiming the presidents race title for the third year in a row.

More importantly, the race marked the fifth straight season of futility for #26, Teddy Roosevelt, who failed to deliver in the final home game for Nationals president Stan Kasten, the aleged architect of the anti-Teddy conspiracy.

Racing presidents farewell to Stan KastenNo sooner had Nationals mascot Screech declared Lincoln the winner, when he joined the presidents in holding up signs of appreciation for Kasten, who announced last week that he would be leaving the team at the end of the season.

During his five year tenure with the Nationals, Kasten has been both praised and criticized for his marketing of the team and the Nationals Park experience, including the now-famous 4th-inning presidents race. A Nationals Park farewell tribute was punctuated by a presentation of cupcakes to Kasten by Teddy Roosevelt.

The racing presidents will carry some compelling story lines into the off season. After three straight titles, is it fair now to declare this a presidents race dynasty for the Great Emancipator? With Kasten departing, will we see the team take a tougher stance on Abe’s cheating? Most importantly, with new management in place, will 2011 be the year the Nationals finally let Teddy win?

Video courtesy of YouTube member lfahome (whose video of Tuesday’s race was featured tonight on ESPN)

Abe Lincoln harrasses the GEICO Gecko once again

On a sunny Saturday afternoon at Nationals Park, Teddy Roosevelt took an early lead in the 4th-inning presidents race, but faded quickly as George Washington put on a burst of speed to take the lead; but George couldn’t maintain the pace, and Abraham Lincoln once again was well-positioned to finish strong and take his 16th presidents race of the 2010 season.

The day after Abe inexplicably flattened the GEICO Gecko, our 16th president was at it again, this time crossing the finish line, then grabbing the Gecko’s flag and waving it in a triumphant march up the first base line.

Perhaps it’s the heat.

Video courtesy of YouTube member lfahome

Abe Lincoln takes out the GEICO Gecko

Thomas Jefferson took an early lead in the Nationals presidents race Friday night at Nationals Park and held onto the lead, showboating as he spun across the finish line.

But it was Abe Lincoln who stole the show, veering off course at the last minute and drawing gasps as he plowed into the sponsor. The diminutive GEICO Gecko was clearly not prepared for Abe’s open field tackle.

Perhaps Abe wasn’t able to save 15% on his car insurance.

Video courtesy of YouTube member lfahome

Abe Lincoln forces 3-way tie to end homestand

A day after cheating his way to the finish line, Abraham Lincoln followed a more traditional path to victory, coming from behind to take the tape today as the Nats wrapped up their homestand vs. the Baltimore Orioles at Nationals Park. Orioles mascot The Bird once again failed to make an appearance.

With the Nats hitting the road tomorrow, Abe’s victory ensured that George, Thomas, and Abe would enter the month of June on an extended 3-way tie for first place — something we’ve never seen this late in the season.

Teddy Roosevelt, sadly, remains the only president without a win.

Inspired by Nyjer Morgan, Abe throws a fit of his own

The crowd at Nationals Park wasn’t paying too much attention during Saturday’s presidents race at Nationals Park.

The race began just moments after Nats centerfielder Nyjer Morgan singlehandedly allowed an inside-the-park home run by throwing a fit instead of chasing after a ball he should have caught to end the Orioles 4th inning.

Abe Lincoln pushes Teddy Roosevelt to the Ground - Washington Nationals presidents raceOne pitch and one out later, the crowd of 30,000+ was still on its feet and buzzing about the oddity they had witnessed as the presidents race began.

Teddy Roosevelt took an early lead, but Abraham Lincoln, upset about falling to 3rd place in the presidents race standings, took a cue from Nyjer Morgan and threw a little fit of his own.

Chasing Teddy from behind, Abe dropped him to the ground, then turned to go after the other presidents.

After slamming Tom into the stands, he pranced across the finish line and climbed into the crowd to celebrate.

For the first time since Nationals Park opened, the Orioles mascot “The Bird” failed to make an appearance for the interleague race.

His Nationals counterpart Screech, who allegedly judges the presidents race, was a no show himself, failing once again to disqualify “Honest” Abe despite blatant cheating.

Nyjer Morgan photo by Cheryl Nichols/Nats News Network

Abe shows his anger as George fixes final presidents race

It was an afternoon to remember at Nationals Park.

The last game of the season was designated Fan Appreciation Day by the Nationals, and the 23,944 who made their way to Natstown for the rare late afternoon start got plenty to appreciate, starting with free fleece blankets and leading to perhaps a glimpse of the future: heroics by the team’s young prospects, a sweep of the New York Mets, and an unlikely playoff atmosphere.

Heading into the game, it appeared that little suspense remained in the Nationals disappointing season beyond the outcome of the 4th-inning presidents race.

Would Abe Lincoln, coming off a 5-race winning streak, extend his dominance? Would Teddy Roosevelt surprise the field, end the curse, and send Nats fans into the off season filled with hope? Or would George Washington or Thomas Jefferson emerge from the pack to break their 2nd-place tie in the final race of the year?

Abe and Tom broke out to an early lead, with Teddy trailing behind. George Washington uncharacteristically got a late start, then inexplicably ran the wrong way along the left field wall.

Abe and Tom ran neck and neck around the right field corner before realizing that the finish line had disappeared. It had been moved to the other side of the field, where George was crossing it uncontested.

As this video by YouTube member lfahome shows, Abe Lincoln was furious, and let out some of his ‘roid rage on the tarp roller in foul territory.

It’s not clear how or why the finish line moved, but it appears that only George got the memo.

If in fact George Washington fixed the race in his favor, then one would think he’d be disqualified. But as we all know, Teddy will finish the season as the only racing president to have been subject to disqualification. The fix is definitely in, but it’s all about Teddy. It’s “wait ’till next year” once again for Teddy Roosevelt fans. Here’s hoping that next season they’ll Let Teddy Win.

Final 2009 Presidents Race Standings:

Abraham Lincoln 40
George Washington 22
Thomas Jefferson 21
Teddy Roosevelt 0

Photo by Flickr user tbridge

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