Racing presidents Herbert Hoover and Calvin Coolidge “retiring” to Nats new spring training ballpark.

Washington Nationals Racing President Herbert HooverWashington Nationals Calvin Coolidge Racing PresidentNationals racing presidents Calvin Coolidge and Herbert Hoover are retiring to West Palm Beach, Florida.

The “visiting presidents,” who were introduced in the 2015 and 2016 seasons, respectively, as part of a promotion with the White House Historical Association, are departing today for their new home at The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches, according to the team.

The Nationals’ new spring training facility opens in February, and the new season will feature the start of a new tradition — a Nationals presidents race during the fourth inning of each home spring training ballgame.

The team shares its new state-of-the-art facility with the Houston Astros, and so only some of the Grapefruit League games between the two will be designated as home games. No word yet on whether “away” games at the stadium will also feature the presidents.

The team has invited fans to follow the pair of snowbirds on their southward journey via its Twitter page.

The move south by Cal and Herbie leaves an opening back in DC for the promotional partnership to continue with a new visiting president. The team has not officially acknowledged it yet, but the association will be honoring Franklin Roosevelt in 2017. A racing president FDR would be the first Democrat to participate in the presidents race.

Video: Visiting president Herbert Hoover wins last race of the regular season, but Teddy Roosevelt is the season champion

img_8601-editWith a comfortable lead in the season standings, Teddy Roosevelt wrapped up the 2016 Nationals racing presidents season championship before this weekend’s final series vs. the Miami Marlins. It was Teddy’s second crown, having claimed the title in 2014.

So there was little drama on Sunday as the presidents took the field for the last time in the regular season. That would probably explain why the big-headed presidents “eased up” in the stretch of the fourth inning race, and let 2016 visiting president Herbert Hoover take the last battle of the season.

The playoffs start Friday at Nationals Park, and Teddy Roosevelt has never lost a race in the playoffs. Let the curse talk begin.

Video for by lfahome

Video: Nationals racing presidents survive Game of Thrones inspired sword fight

Nationals racing presidents Game of ThronesNationals racing presidents Herbie Game of ThronesThe Nationals’ racing presidents were inspired Sunday by Tanner Roark, who went medieval on the Minnesota Twins batters with fifteen strikeouts.

Presidents race newcomer Herbert Hoover started the fourth inning race alone, pausing in front of the Nats HD scoreboard to catch a bit of the season premiere of HBO’s Game of Thrones. When Herbie turned to dash for the finish line, he was met by George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Abe Lincoln, who emerged from section 134 wearing colorful capes and flashing swords, GoT style.

Hoover turned and ran, but found Teddy Roosevelt and William Howard Taft closing on him from the bullpen, swords in hand.

Ever the diplomat, Hoover ducked, and a swordfight ensued. While the incumbent presidents duked it out, Herbie dashed ahead for the win.

Video for by lfahome

GIF: Jefferson exacts revenge, pummels Hoover

Thomas Jefferson BirthdayThomas Jefferson Tackles Herbert HooverJust as fans began to ask “will Herbert Hoover ever lose?,” the Nationals racing presidents provided an answer Wednesday night at Nationals Park

It was Thomas Jefferson’s 273rd birthday, and the presidents celebrated by letting the sage of Monticello run the race alone, greeting him with a giant birthday cake as he approached the bottom of section 135.

But as they paused to celebrate with Tom, the newest racing president turned and dashed towards the finish line, attempting to steal victory #4.

That’s when the birthday boy came to the rescue. TJ caught Hoover from behind, and reclaimed the win for himself.

Video for by lfahome

Video: Herbie Rides Again! Hoover keeps winning, draws complaints

When visiting racing president Herbert Hoover took the tape in his first Nationals president race Sunday, it seemed to be par for the course — a courtesy win for the new guy; but the tone got serious after Hoover took his second win Monday. “This is absurd,” tweeted Teddy Roosevelt.

Herbert Hoover wins his second presidents race, more races than the actual Hoover won in his political career

“Hoover must be stopped,” tweeted fellow racing president William Howard Taft, after losing to Hoover again on Tuesday.

Now a new opinion piece in Washington Magazine by Benjamin Freed complains that racing president Hoover has already won three times as many races as the actual Hoover, whose only elected office was his single term as U.S. president.

“The actual Hoover deserves no such honor,” Freed writes in Washingtonian. “He was a lousy president who inherited a bad situation and made it even worse.”

“…instead of whitewashing his legacy, perhaps the Nats can have some historically accurate fun with their Hoover,” Freed continues. “Set a replica White House on fire. Have the other Racing Presidents block his path by erecting a Hooverville on the warning track. Schedule a “Bonus Army Night” to remember the World War I veterans who occupied DC when the Hoover administration failed to make good on payments owed by the government.”

It’s truly a worthy read, but as I’ve written before, Hoover gets a bad rap. Still, between this and the concerns over those scary eyes, the newest racing president has very quickly become a lightning rod.

Videos of the 4/11 and 4/12 races below.

Photo: Cheryl Nichols
4/11 Official race video: Washington Nationals
4/12 Finish line video courtesy of lfahome

Video: Herbert “Herbie” Hoover wins first Nationals presidents race, fans share concerns about “reptilian” eyes

Washington Nationals New Racing President Herbert Hoover HerbieNationals Racing Presidents New President Herbert HooverWashington Nationals Racing President Herbert Hoover WinsJust as visiting president Calvin Coolidge did last season, the Washington Nationals’ newest visiting racing president Herbert Hoover won in his first-ever appearance in the Nats’ presidents race.

It was a day that began with Hoover making his debut appearance on NBC’s Meet the Press, after which Hoover appeared in the Nationals Park centerfield plaza to greet fans as the gates opened for Sunday’s contest vs. the Marlins.

Each of the other racing presidents has a nickname, and we learned Sunday that the Nationals will be calling Hoover by the diminutive “Herbie,” a name which has never been associated with the great humanitarian, and led many in the stands to wonder who PA announcer Jerome Hruska was talking about when the presidents were introduced in the 4th inning.

The race was a clean one. Abraham Lincoln took an early lead, and Hoover appeared last from the centerfield gate, but the newest president #31 showed some speed as he gained on his competitors and had overtaken Abe from the inside by the time they reached the right field bullpen.

Hoover then pulled away in the home stretch to take his first presidents race belt. Finish line video below.

At least one young fan brought a homemade sign to the park to support the much-maligned 31st president, but those following the Nationals on social media seemed more fixated on Hoover’s eyes, which are a sort of yellowish-green color:

And finally…

Video for by lfahome

Video: Meet the Washington Nationals new racing president Herbert Hoover

Herbert Hoover Washington Nationals New Racing PresidentWashington Nationals New Racing President Herbert Hoover with Teddy RooseveltThe Washington Nationals introduced new racing president Herbert Hoover on Sunday morning’s episode of NBC’s Meet the Press. Hoover will join the presidents race beginning today at Nationals Park.

As we detailed recently, Hoover gets the designation “visiting racing president,” since he is sponsored by the White House Historical Association. Hoover replaces Calvin Coolidge, who was the Nationals’ first visiting racing president in 2015. Hoover is being featured and commemorated by the association’s 2016 Christmas ornament. This also means that the July 3 promotional giveaway — previously announced as a “racing president bobblehead,” will be a Herbert Hoover bobblehead doll.

The partnership between the Washington Nationals and the White House Historical Society is a minimum 3-year deal, which means there’s a good chance we’ll see a racing Franklin Roosevelt in 2017.

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