Video: “Sharky” takes out George’s competition as shark week continues at Nationals Park

Shark Week at Nationals Park SharkyShark Week continued Tuesday night at Nationals Park as George Washington stole another presidents race victory, appearing from the bullpen with a short “shark,” who proceeded to take out all of Washington’s competition.

“He’s given up his hunting hound for his pet shark, Sharky,” intoned Nationals Park P.A. announcer Jerome Hruska. As his pet mowed down the competition, George turned and crossed the finish line unopposed.

Video courtesy of YouTube member lfahome

Video: “Rally Cicada” leads Teddy to victory, inspires reserves

Cicada invades Nationals presidents raceCicada tackles Nationals racing presidentsCicada Washington Nationals Presidents RaceWith the Nats trailing early Sunday at Nationals Park, the team needed a rally, and got inspiration from the most unlikely of places.

When the presidents race began in the middle of the fourth inning, Teddy Roosevelt lined up near the finish line, bringing with him the same giant cicada that invaded Nationals Park on June 9.

P.A. announcer Jerome Hruska introduced the big insect as “The Rally Cicada,” and this time, the cicada was on Teddy’s side.

As the remaining presidents approached the home stretch, Teddy pushed the cicada at them like a bowling ball, toppling them all, then turned towards the finish line to collect his fourth victory of the season.

The Nationals followed with a furious effort, holding the Rockies scoreless while an onslaught of Nats reserves delivered two runs in the bottom half of the inning and four more in the eighth, but it wasn’t quite enough.

A beautiful slo-mo of Teddy’s cicada tackle below.

Video courtesy of YouTube user lfahome

Video: Presidents race Gangnam Style 강남스타일 again as Teddy steals Nationals’ first postseason race

Nationals Park Standing Room OnlyTeddy Roosevelt as Psy Gangnam StylePresidents Race Gangnam Style Washington NationalsNationals racing presidents Gangnam StyleRacing presidents Gangnam Style - Teddy Roosevelt Washington NationalsTeddy Roosevelt dances Gangnam StylePresidents Race Gangnam Style Teddy Roosevelt WinsThe Washington Nationals hosted the first playoff game in the team’s short history Wednesday, and area fans showed up in droves, crushing previous attendance records to pack the house with a record standing room only crowd of 45,027.

Many of the usual stadium promotion breaks featuring in-game host Clint Khoury were usurped by Major League Baseball for the playoffs, so when the middle of the fourth inning arrived, the crowd rose to its feet and cheered as P.A. announcer Jerome Hruska announced presidents race.

Coming off last week’s historic first win for Teddy Roosevelt, and with the record crowd on hand, fans were wondering what the Nationals would do for an encore. Speculation was rampant in social media circles. Would Teddy retire, or would he keep winning? Would the Nats introduce a new president? A rumor was spreading that the route might even change.

In the end, the team used the extra long commercial break to revise a fan favorite from just last month.

The September 1 race in which the racing presidents danced “Gangnam Style” is the most viewed video in Let Teddy Win history, amassing nearly a quarter million views in the month since since it was first shared. So, figuring you can’t get too much of a good thing, the Nats went back to the well, with a twist.

Teddy Roosevelt bolted out wearing sunglasses in the style of Korean dance pop star Psy, and was met in right field by Washington, Jefferson, and Lincoln, wearing similar glasses.

After shedding their uniforms for Hawaiian shirts, the presidents broke into the familiar dance to the delight of the crowd; but unlike September, when the other presidents left Teddy behind to head for the finish line, this time it was Teddy who turned the tables on the other Rushmores, stopping mid-dance to leave them in the dust.

As Teddy celebrated his second victory of all time on the field, the Nationals Park crowd began chanting “Teddy, Teddy, Teddy!”

It was unfortunately one of the few highlights of the game for Nats fans. Unlike Teddy’s first win one week ago, the team did not respond with a barrage of hits to tie the game, and fell behind in the series to St. Louis, 2 games to 1.

The racing presidents playoff standings are now Teddy 1, George 0, Tom 0, Abe 0.

Here’s a close-up video from Maggie at First Ladies of Baseball:

And here’s our full finish line video by YouTube member lfahome:

Video: Racing presidents perform rhythmic gymnastics in Olympic tribute

Nationals racing presidents Olympic rhythmic gymnastics Teddy gets airNationals racing presidents Olympic rhythmic gymnasticsNationals racing presidents Olympic rhythmic gymnastics George Washington posesIf you’ve ever wondered what rhythmic gymnastics would look like if Olympic athletes had to wear 10 foot high, 45 pound costumes, the answer arrived with gusto Thursday night at Nationals Park.

After race walking and fencing through the first two matches of the series, the Rushmore Four continued to push the envelope with their week of Olympic tributes, entering the field carrying ribbons and performing a presidential rendition of rhythmic gymnastics.

“Good form and execution by George,” intoned Nationals P.A. announcer Jerome Hruska. “Wonderful control of the apparatus by Teddy.”

The presidents then paused in front of the visitors bullpen for invidual displays. “That’s a 10 for George,” Hruska continued as Washington twirled from the ground. Teddy received “a slight deduction,” but the reasons weren’t clear.

The presidents then took off towards the finish line, but Teddy, Abe, and Tom got tangled up in ribbons, and George Washington leapt to victory.

“George gets the gold,” added Nationals broadcaster Bob Carpenter
on the MASN broadcast. “My greatest challenge as the Nationals TV announcer doing play by play is making sense of the presidents race,” he added. “Baseball is a simple game compared to that.”

Video courtesy of YouTube member lfahome

Video: Teddy stops to look for the Shuttle Discovery

Teddy Roosevelt looks for the Space Shuttle during the Presidents Race - photo by Cheryl NicholsThe Space Shuttle Discovery’s flight to its final resting place went right over South Capital Street Tuesday morning, but Teddy Roosevelt must have missed the spectacle, because when the presidents race began just before 8:00pm at Nationals Park, Roosevelt was still looking up.

As they promised they would from time to time, the Nationals reversed the direction of the fourth-inning race, and this time, Teddy got the memo, jumping out to an early lead along the left field warning track.

But Teddy stopped shortly after the race began to look up at the skies. It was only through the prompting of PA Announcer Jerome Hruska that Teddy got back to running, but by then it was too late. In a photo finish, Jefferson edged George Washington for the win.

Photo courtesy Cheryl Nichols/DistrictSportsPage
Video courtesy YouTube member lfahome

Video: That Cat Returns to thwart a sure Teddy Roosevelt Victory

That Cat returned to Nationals Park Tuesday night, and as the mysterious feline is known to do, threw a wrench into the presidents race procedings.

That Cat tackles Teddy Roosevelt in the Washington Nationals Presidents RaceThat Cat tackles Teddy Roosevelt in the Washington Nationals Presidents RaceWith a crowd braving the rain to see Stephen Strasburg’s return to baseball, perpetual showoff Abe Lincoln jumped out to a big lead, but as Abe traversed the warning track, Teddy Roosevelt put on an uncharasteristic burst of speed, passing all of the presidents and waving goodbye as he took the lead.

“Teddy’s got a huge lead now. There’s no way he’s gonna lose,” proclaimed Nationals Park P.A. announcer Jerome Hruska.

The kiss of death, apparently.

As Teddy passed by the stands in section 134, That Cat pounced.

Teddy never saw what him him, and George stole the tape.

Slo-mo take-down video follows:


Videos courtesy of YouTube member lfahome

Presidents race honors final launch of Space Shuttle Atlantis

Washington Nationals Presidents Race - Honoring the Space Shuttle AtlantisThe Washington Nationals have a tradition of using the 4th-inning presidents race to pay tribute to significant cultural events.

On Friday night at Nationals Park, the team attempted to honor the final launch of Space Shuttle Atlantis, wrapping the heads of George, Tom, and Abe in tinfoil, presumably to represent astronaut helmets.

We’re not sure if they ran out of tinfoil, or were just in a hurry, but thankfully for the Nationals Park crowd, P.A. announcer Jerome Hruska explained the reference.

Photo and video courtesy of YouTube member lfahome

“I’m just as confused as you, folks”

Presidential Walk RaceWashington Nationals Racing President Teddy Roosevelt hits the wallLet Teddy Win!Thursday night’s 10-9 marathon battle between the Chicago Cubs and the Washington Nationals could best be described as a bizarre affair, and by all counts, the 4th-inning presidents race did not fail to keep up with the theme of the evening.

The presidents broke out of the centerfield gate in speed walking mode, but with Teddy Roosevelt in last place, and the slow-paced race looking like it might extend into the 5th inning, Teddy ran across the outfield grass, and bolted into a sprint.

Roosevelt’s maneuver put him safely in the lead and ignited the crowd. That is, until he abruptly took a left turn into the right field wall.

Calling the race from high atop Nationals Park, P.A. announcer Jerome Hruska declared “I’m just as confused as you, folks.”

As a disoriented Roosevelt stumbled toward the finish line, Thomas Jefferson caught up and stole the win.

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

Behind the scenes at the Nationals presidents race (Video)

One thing we’re asked frequently (other then “When is Teddy gonna win?”) is whether the entire presidents race is scripted in advance.

Washington Nationals PA Announcer Jerome HruskaWhen I respond that Nationals Park PA announcer Jerome Hruska really calls the game live and unscripted, some people find that hard to believe.

So when the Nationals hosted several bloggers at the park last weekend, I made a special last-minute request, and the Nats were happy to oblige.

During the 4th-inning presidents race, the Nats allowed us to bring two video cameras up to the control room at
Nationals Park video control roomNationals Park, to give Let Teddy Win readers an inside look at the calling of the GEICO presidents race.

High above the field, a small army of directors, statisticians, and engineers communicates with camera operators and entertainment staff stationed throughout the park, mixing the feed live for the 101-foot HD scoreboard over the centerfield bleachers.

Washington Nationals PA Announcer Jerome Hruska's Presidents Race ScriptBehind a soundproof door, Hruska reads a script introducing the presidents race video, but from that point forward, the script just reads “(RACE).”

Video below. Thanks to Chad Kurz and the Washington Nationals for letting LTW readers behind the scenes.

Racing Presidents do the limbo on Ladies Night

Washington Nationals racing president Abraham Lincoln shows off his new Hawaiian shirtThursday night was the first Ladies Night of 2010 at Nationals Park, as ticket-holders were treated to a Hawaiian-themed Luau party on the Rooftop Party Deck before the game.

Not ones to miss out on a good time, the Nationals racing presidents joined in on the fun, donning Hawaiian shirts for the occasion.

After showing off new red racing uniforms in April, this marked another of the new costumes the Nationals promised we’d see in 2010.

The famous Pittsburgh Pierogies were in town for the final game of the series between the Nats and Pirates, but rather than run alongside the presidents during the 4th inning race, they were stationed along the outfield warning track, preparing the Hawaiian-themed antics for the night.

Racing presidents do the limbo at Nationals ParkAfter emerging from the centerfield gate, the racing presidents encountered a limbo pole being held by two pierogies. Teddy Roosevelt went through first, using his stature as the shortest racing president to his advantage, but the Bull Moose ducked the big stick, cheating his way under the pole.

Teddy’s shortcut gave him the lead as they then approached the hula hoops in the outfield corner, but he was too enthralled by the toys to continue, and while too-tall Abe Lincoln continued to struggle with the limbo pole, George Washington and Thomas Jefferson made a mad dash to the finish.

George Washington beats Thomas Jefferson by a Nose in the Washington Nationals presidents raceGeorge and Tom broke the tape together in a photo finish, and Nationals PA Announcer Jerome Hruska was unable to call a winner, deferring to on-field judge and Nationals Mascot Screech.

Screech made the call for George, which our photo suggests was the right call — by a nose.

This video courtesy of YouTube member lfahome captures the photo finish, and at the very end, some members of Teddy’s Texas cheering section that were in attendance Thursday.

A birds-eye view of the presidents race

Abe Lincoln extended his winning streak to 4 games at Nationals Park Saturday night, as the Let Teddy Win blog was invited once again to take part in the team’s semi-annual blogger’s night.

Nationals Park video control room

Live coverage of the presidents race from the Nationals Park video control room

For most of the bloggers in attendance, the highlights were likely the myriad interview opportunities with Nats players and management, and the opportunity to cover the game from the press box; but for this Presidents Race Fan, the high point was reporting on the race from the video control room high atop Nationals Park, where the magic is created for the stadium’s live HD scoreboard.

Nationals Park PA Announcer Jerome Hruska calls the presidents race

And the winner is... Abe!!!

It’s safe to say that Nats Park regulars would be blown away by the sheer number of people and skill required to deliver the elaborate graphics and live in-stadium coverage of every race; and speaking of that coverage, those who believe the play-by-play is all scripted need only watch Nationals PA Announcer Jerome Hruska call it live as the race unfolds on the field below.

Unfortunately, down on the field it was deja vu for Teddy fans, as Roosevelt took a huge lead before his glasses fell off, and Abe Lincoln came from behind to win for the 4th night in a row. George Washington fell into the Geico Gecko at the finish line, marking the first time in presidents race history that the sponsor was taken down.

Before the game, I had a chance to speak to catcher Ivan Rodriguez, who guaranteed that he’d be behind the plate for Stephen Strasburg’s debut on Tuesday night. With 3 networks covering and over 200 press credentials issued, the buzz is building for that sellout game. Up in the press box, there was much speculation that Tuesday could be the night for Teddy to end his streak. We can only hope…

A special thanks to Nationals Senior Manager of New Media Chad Kurz for arranging the day.

Here’s the race as seen from the stands, courtesy of YouTube member lfahome:

And here’s the race as edited live in the booth and called by Jerome:

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