Video: Teddy gets his grudge match, but is clotheslined by George and Tom

A day after issuing a challenge to Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt got his wish — a one-on-one grudge match vs. Abe on Sunday at Nationals Park.

Well, almost.

As George Washington and Thomas Jefferson sat on the sidelines, Teddy and Abe bolted from the centerfield gate for their first-ever mano-a-mano presidents race.

The two exchanged leads, pushing and shoving each other the entire way, until Teddy slammed Abe into the right field wall, sending the Great Emancipator to his knees.

It appeared that Teddy would run away with his first victory, but George and Tom would have nothing of the kind, jumping in front of Teddy at the warning track and clotheslining the Rough Rider, allowing Abe to run by to take the tape for the first time this season.

In recent seasons, there has been little love lost between Lincoln and Roosevelt, and the two presidents wasted little time renewing their rivalry in the opening homestand. Teddy now has a week off to lick his wounds and plot his revenge.

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)

Another Curse against the Nats? Or just the reason Abe Lincoln gets away with cheating.

In today’s Baltimore Sun, Mark Greenbaum and David O’Leary argue that the Nationals poor record in the team’s short history is not due to the fact that Major League Baseball decimated the Expos organization and talent pool, but because Nationals Park is haunted by the ghost of John Wilkes Booth.

Yes, it seems the the Nationals’ shiny new ball park happens to be on the site where Abraham Lincoln’s assassins were tried, hung, and buried.

Of course, the Nationals’ weak on-field performance dates not to the opening of Nationals Park, but to the introduction of the presidents race in 2006, leading others to have speculated about the curse of Teddy Roosevelt.

Interestingly, if any performance-related trend can be tied to the opening of Nationals Park, it’s the unlikely dominance of Abraham Lincoln in the team’s 4th-inning presidents race.

Back at RFK stadium, the first presidents race season titles went to George Washington and Thomas Jefferson.

But since moving to Nationals Park, Abe Lincoln has simply dominated, winning the crown going away in 2008 and 2009. This year, after losing his lead briefly to George, Abe went on a late season tear and with just ten home games remaining is positioned to take his third title in a row.

It’s been well established that Abe gets away with cheating, but perhaps it’s not Abe at all, and rather a higher power allowing the Great Emancipator to get away with murder…

Teddy Roosevelt flattens Abraham Lincoln with a right hook

Teddy Roosevelt had a choice to make Thursday night at Nationals Park.

Our 26th president took a healthy lead into the home stretch of the 4th-inning presidents race. With a 20-yard lead over Abraham Lincoln, Teddy had nothing but daylight between himself and a first-ever presidents race victory.

Teddy Roosevelt punches Abe Lincoln in the Nationals Park presidents raceBut the first base foul territory proved
too tempting a spot for an ambush.

With his chief rival closing in from behind, Teddy stopped, turned, and cold-cocked Abe Lincoln with a right hook that sent the Great Emancipator spinning.

It was a double-defeat for Lincoln, who got to his feet in time to watch Thomas Jefferson waltz across the finish line,
and into a tie with Abe for first place in the season standings.

Video courtesy of YouTube member lfahome

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’s T-Shirt Tuesday Kicks Off Nationals Homestand

Tuesday night the Washington Nationals return to town to face the Diamondbacks and Astros in a couple of series that promise great weather, light summer traffic, and some big promotions at Nationals Park.

The Nationals are in need of some home cooking after a brutal week which netted as many devastating injuries as team victories. For loyal Nats fans, it seems like an eternity since Nationals Park was packed and rocking for the team’s last home series against the Baltimore Orioles.

Washington Nationals Racing President Abe Lincoln at Nationals ParkRegular readers don’t need to be reminded that this is Abe Lincoln’s T-shirt Tuesday. The first 10,000 fans to enter Nationals Park on Tuesday will receive a free Washington Nationals Abraham Lincoln T-Shirt. Given his recent record, it’s doubtful that Abe needs any help to win the presidents race, but it should be noted that George Washington and Thomas Jefferson won on their free t-shirt nights, so the pressure is now squarely on Abe.

The homsetand will also feature Friday night fireworks, Hispanic Heritage night, and another free movie Saturday night after the game on the Nationals Park HD scoreboard. As for the presidents race, it’s hard to imagine how our racing presidents could top the excitement of the last homestand. After a week that featured kangaroos, president-on-president violence, sabotage, grudge matches, and an “unsanctioned” victory by Teddy Roosevelt, it was good to get a week off. I’m assuming that Teddy has gotten over it as well and will not be working with the grounds crew on Tuesday.

Photo by flickr member jsmjr

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