Teddy fans from Ft. Worth, Texas invade Nationals Park

Teddy Roosevelt cheering section at Nationals ParkA huge and lively group of Teddy Roosevelt fans from Texas led a cheering Nationals Park crowd of 21,767 on Thursday night as Livan Hernandez and the Washington Nationals completed their first series sweep of the season.

No matter where you sat in the Park, their cheers were hard to ignore. Even play-by-play man Bob Carpenter took
notice on the MASN broadcast.

The Hillwood Middle school 8th grade class cheers for Teddy Roosevelt at Nationals ParkThe group included 90 students and their chaperones from Hillwood Middle school in Ft. Worth Texas.

Their U.S. History teacher, Brian Ketcham, stumbled across LetTeddyWin.com in 2009, and showed it to the kids as they were planning their 8th-grade trip to Washington.

Let Teddy Win fans from Hillwood Middle School, Ft. Worth, Texas“We let the kids vote on shirts for the trip,” Ketchum said before the game. “I showed them the blog and they thought it was hilarious. So, they voted for the Roosevelt shirt. We want to cheer on Teddy very loudly.”

And loudly they did, as cheers of “Let’s Go Teddy” and Let’s Go Nationals” reverberated from Upper Deck section 232 throughout the
Random Acts of Red - Texas Teddy fans invade Nationals Parkgame’s final 5 innings.

On Thursday, the group visited the White House (where they ran into the POTUS), the National Zoo, the Holocaust Museum, and the National Archives — all before heading to Nationals Park, but group member Blake Emery declared their Nationals Park visit “the greatest night ever” — a sentiment that seemed to be shared by many.

They are chronicling their adventures at coachketchum.com.

Will the Nationals Let Teddy Win on Strasmas Day?

DC sports fans are gearing up for the most hyped debut in Washington sports history, as fans have dubbed Tuesday Strasmas Day in anticipation of the major league debut of pitcher Stephen Strasburg, aka Baseball Jeezus.

With the team expected to choose hitting phenom Bryce Harper today with the #1 pick in baseball’s amateur draft, Nats fans see this week as a symbolic turning point in the short history of the franchise.

The Nationals are surely eager to send the message that a new era has arrived. With a record sellout crowd expected, and every major national media outlet on hand, what better opportunity could the Nats have to let Teddy win? It seems a wise move, both to send a signal to the fans, and to avoid risking a chorus of 41,000 boos during their moment in the spotlight.

Here’s hoping history is made on the warning track as well as the pitcher’s mound.

One character who clearly hopes to prevent it is Abe Lincoln. The all-time presidents race victory leader has set aside his dirty tricks and gone on a tear, earning his 5th consecutive come-from-behind victory Sunday at Nationals Park. Teddy’s eyeglasses fell off his nose, but he gutted it out and finished the race blind. We’re hoping he manages to get them fixed on his off day today. The racing presidents were sporting their traditional period garb for just the second time this season.

Video courtesy of YouTube member lfahome

Calling for a Teddy victory Friday night

DC-based musician, blogger, and fellow marketing professional Mike Holden writes in his blog Thursday that Stan Kasten and the Nationals should consider restoring a little dignity for the 40,000-or-so fans who snapped up tickets to Friday night’s game against the Cincinnati Reds based on reports that pitching phenom Stephen Strasburg would be making his major league debut that night.

“What better way is there to reward those in attendance for this non-Strasburg start,” Holden writes, “than with something that’s just as rare as Pitching Jesus?” A Teddy Roosevelt victory, says Holden, still gives the fans “something that some will proudly say they were there in-person for.”

Our readers have speculated variously that Teddy’s mounting losses will come to an end when the the Nats win the division, or make the playoffs, or win the World Series, or even when Strasburg makes his debut; but I’m in Mike’s camp. Reward the faithful. End the suffering. Give us something special. Let Teddy Win tonight!

Abe Lincoln takes on the “Let Teddy Win” fans

Nationals Park Empty StandsTeddy Roosevelt fans were out in force tonight as WeLoveDC.com sponsored its first “Let Teddy Win” night at Nationals Park, complete with a private ballpark tour, pre-game rally, presidents race trivia contest, food, prizes, and rally for our favorite racing president.

With an otherwise cold, damp night
Let Teddy Win Babyattracting the smallest crowd in Nationals Park history, it felt at times like a private party.

Among the reported 11,191 in attendance were presidents race rooters young and old, and of course Teddy signs everywhere, particularly during the 4th-inning presidents race.

The rain had stopped well before the first pitch, but Teddy Roosevelt took no chances, racing while carrying an umbrella from start to finish.

The umbrella was too small to cover Roosevelt’s giant head, but not too small to slow him down, and Abe Lincoln raced past him to move back into a tie with Tom for the season lead.

A huge contingent of Teddy fans met Abe with boos at the finish line, and Abe climbed into the stands to confront them, but was escorted off the field as the crowd chanted “Let Teddy Win.”

It was great to meet and enjoy a game with so many readers. Thanks to Cathy and the crew at WeLoveDC.com for sponsoring a terrific night at the park.

More photos to follow (if you have photos to share, let me know!).

Video courtesy of YouTube member and intrepid presidents race fan lfahome

Teddy fans join WeLoveDC April 21 for a special night at Nationals Park

We Love DC Let Teddy Win night at Nationals ParkBaseball is in the air, and the WeLoveDC blog and the Nationals are kicking off the season by sponsoring a special event for fans of the Nats, the racing presidents, and of course, Teddy Roosevelt.

On Wednesday, April 21, with the Rockies in town for the Nats’ first extended homestand, we’ll be going behind the scenes for a private tour and pre-game rally, plus prizes, sign-making, and an opportunity to go down on the field before the game.

WeLoveDC has packaged all this into a $40 ticket, which also includes entrance to the game, a $10 food voucher, and a seat amid the Teddy Roosevelt cheering section in section 237 by the scoreboard bar.

SCHEDULE OF EVENTS

5:30 p.m. Tour of the stadium. We’ll go behind the scenes, tour the press box, and four lucky raffle winners will get to go down to field level.

6:00 p.m. Pre-game rally, with sign-making materials, prizes, and Nats trivia.

7:05 p.m. First pitch

Tickets went on sale today at eventbrite and will sell out, so order yours now.

For the Teddy fans in your life

Teddy Roosevelt Gift Items at LetTeddyWin.comOur good friends over at CafePress have introduced some new gift items in recent months and — just in time for Christmas — we finally got around to putting some “Let Teddy Win” designs on them.

The new gift items include a Teddy Roosevelt holiday ornament, the swiss-made, eco-friendly Sigg water bottles in 2 sizes, plus a great-looking nylon Let Teddy Win! gym bag.

For pure fun, the new Let Teddy Win! Flip Mino Camcorder simply can’t be beat. There’s an HD version as well.

Right now you can use coupon code ATTICSINROAD to save $5 when you spend $50 or more. Longtime readers know that these items support the blog and are backed by the great CafePress satisfaction guarantee.

Nationals blogs forced to fill the print gap

With the Washington Nationals preparing for their most highly-anticipated spring training since the team moved to DC, the oft-snakebitten franchise finds itself without a voice at DC’s major newspapers.

The Washington Times today announced restructuring and layoffs that include drastic cut-backs in local news and sports reporting. The staff reductions of over 40% mean the Times is throwing in the towel on local print news to focus on national politics.

The announcement comes after Washington Post Nationals reporter Chico Harlan reported that he is leaving the Nationals beat as soon as the Post can find a replacement.

Of course, anybody paying attention saw it coming. Two seasons ago, when Harlan took over the Nats beat, he made it clear he wouldn’t stay in the job more than a couple of years. As for the Times, even their most tenured sports reporters have been interviewing for jobs this year as they watched readership drop and were continually asked to do more for less.

Nats followers will surely miss Mark Zuckerman and Ben Goessling’s Chatter, and the commentary of Thom Loverro, who last season so eloquently argued that the Nats must Let Teddy Win in order to escape the curse of Teddy Roosevelt.

But I’m going to miss Chico the most. Harlan won me over in his first weeks on the job, but the humor and eloquence with which he chronicled last year’s train wreck of a season merits a plaque in the sportswriter’s hall of fame.

As for the Nats, the sad reality is that come opening day, the Nationals Park press box will be home to just one full-time print journalist who has never covered the team.

Nationals president Stan Kasten has always had a love/hate relationship with bloggers, but his decision last season to embrace the Natosphere is looking mighty prescient. As print coverage continues to wither, a small army of loyal and dedicated Nationals bloggers continues to cover the team’s every move. The team has followed up this off-season with conference calls and invitations to press conferences as the Nats announced their skipper and GM.

The Natosphere is remarkably strong for such a young franchise. For better or worse, it represents the most consistent local coverage of our favorite team. Kudos to the Nats for recognizing the growing role of blogs in local coverage.

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