GIF: Presidents race melee keeps Lincoln’s hopes alive

Presidents Race MeleeIn a race that Washington Nationals color commentator F.P. Santangelo called a “three in the morning job,” the Nats’ racing presidents tripped and pushed each other through an epic shoving match in which everyone participated. On Monday night, not even the sponsor GEICO Gecko escaped the dirt.

Despite face planting twice, it was Abe Lincoln who emerged victorious, stumbling across the finish line and slamming the sponsor’s mascot into the tarp.

With just eight home games left in the season, The Great Emancipator moved within five games of season leader Teddy Roosevelt, whose magic number remains at 2.

Here’s the near-speechless call by MASN’s Bob Carpenter and F.P. Santangelo:

Video Presidents attack GEICO Gecko, Jefferson gets stuck

It’s hard to say what got the Rushmore Four riled up Tuesday night, but after watching fellow racing president William Howard Taft cross the finish line at Nationals Park, the Nats’ remaining racing presidents decided to gang up on the GEICO Gecko.

Presidents attack GEICO GeckoThe sponsor, who helps out at the finish line nightly, is usually off limits to the presidents’ antics, but immediately after Tuesday’s race, Thomas Jefferson pushed the amphibian insurance salesman into the Grounds Crew’s tarp in foul territory.

The slippery mascot evaded Jefferson, who got stuck behind the tarp, but then Teddy Roosevelt charged at him, followed by George Washington, who grabbed the lizard and jumped on top of him.

Perhaps they didn’t save as much as they’d expected on their car insurance.

Video courtesy of YouTube member lfahome

Taft skips first presidents race of 2013, Gecko flattens Washington

New racing president William Howard Taft sat out the first presidents race of 2013 at Nationals Park.

Taft sits out first presidents raceThe unofficial race was part of Friday’s exhibition opener vs. the New York Yankees. Taft wasn’t part of the introductory video, and spent the entire race in the stands at section 133, taking notes on his new opponents in preparation for Monday’s official opener.

The race was otherwise reminiscent of previous seasons, with Teddy Roosevelt trailing far behind Abe Lincoln at the tape. George Washington tried to take out his frustrations on the sponsor GEICO Gecko, who was ready for George and flattened him.

Video courtesy of YouTube member lfahome

Presidents race is no longer “The Main Event”

The two longest standing criticisms of the Nationals presidents race appear to have been addressed in consecutive games.

The Nationals’ refusal to let Teddy Roosevelt win for nearly seven seasons was, of course, nationally known — a concern that reached even as far as the White House.

GEICO Presidents Race

Presidents race scoreboard introduction as it has appeared since Nationals Park opened in 2008
(Photo:Adam Fagen)

Presidents Race Nationals Park Scoreboard

Presidents race scoreboard introduction on Wednesday

(Photo:Adam Fagen)[/caption]But more grating to many Nationals fans was the introduction of the presidents race as “The Main Event” at Nationals Park.

Since opening day 2008, Nationals P.A. announcer Jerome Hruska has announced the arrival of the middle of the fourth inning with “Ladies and Gentlemen, it’s time for the main event. It’s the GEICO presidents race!”

For true baseball fans, even those who liked the antics of the Rushmore Four, this was like nails on a chalkboard.

But on Wednesday afternoon, amid the frenzy of Teddy’s second victory and the heartbreak of a second playoff loss, was a gift to serious Nats fans.

“Ladies and Gentlemen,” Hruska announced, “it’s time for the Presidents Race!”

Whether this change is permanent, is tied to limitations on playoff sponsorships, or is related to a longer-term change remains to be seen. The announcement was accompanied by a new graphic that omitted the familiar GEICO logo, the GEICO logo was omitted from the presidents’ uniforms, and the ever-present GEICO Gecko was not in his usual spot at the finish line.  

State Farm is the official insurance company of MLB.

Teddy shows no fight before record Nats Park crowd

Phillies fans at Nationals Park - CBP South - Citizens Bank Park SouthGeorge Washington wins the Washington Nationals Presidents RaceGEICO Gecko introducing the GEICO Presidents Race at Nationals ParkAn all-time record crowd of 44,675 squeezed into Nationals Park Saturday night, but everybody on the field, including Teddy Roosevelt, appeared to have nothing left after Friday night’s late-inning heroics.

It was estimated that as much as 50% of the standing room only crowd hailed from Philadelphia, but with the Phillies staking a 5-0 lead, and the Nationals doing nothing but squandering opportunities, the mood felt increasingly like a Phillies home crowd as the night wore on, capped by a group of fans in the outfield who held signs spelling out “Welcome to Citizens Bank Park South.”

In the fourth-inning presidents race, Teddy Roosevelt finished in last place for the second night in a row, as George Washington sneaked by Thomas Jefferson for the victory. Teddy seemed ready to admit that the race is fixed against him, tweeting after the race “Drats, foiled again!! If only I could race a vegetable or something!”

The night also featured a change to the presidents race introductions. For the last four seasons, Nationals Park P.A. announcer Jerome Hruska has intoned “Ladies and Gentlemen, it’s time for the main event. It’s the GEICO Presidents Race!” Hruska’s bold introduction is the subject of much derision by fans who take offense at the notion that something other than the game would be called “The Main Event.”

While the unfortunate phrase didn’t change, the emphasis did, at least for one night. Fans on Saturday were instead greeted by a new video featuring the sponsor’s soft-spoken Gecko. It may not satisfy the critics, but it was a nice clarification between between the voice of the team and that of the race’s commercial sponsor.

Video courtesy of YouTube member lfahome

Photos/Scott Ableman.  All rights reserved.

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

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