Honk if you love Teddy Roosevelt

I hope you enjoyed Teddy Roosevelt’s birthday as much as I did. Unlike last year’s big 150th birthday bash, this year was a little quieter for our favorite #26.

However, the family did give me a surprise birthday present this week in the form of new vanity plates.

So remember if you see me driving around the DC area: Honk if you love Teddy!

Video: Teddy’s Fans at Nationals Park

Here’s the report that ran today on ABC News Now.

Love that “Let Teddy Win!” cheering section!

Season ticket holders, see you tonight!

Washington Nationals TicketI’m not one to mention myself in this blog, but today’s going to be an exception. You see,
I’ve had September 10 circled on the calendar since the spring, when tickets were first distributed to Washington Nationals season ticket holders.

I was traveling that week, and my email lit up with messages from friends. The common sentiment was along the lines of “Dude! You’re on the ticket!” The ticket in question was the September 10th game vs. the Philadelphia Phillies.

This year’s season tickets featured 81 different scenes from the inaugural season inside Nationals Park. Tonight’s ticket features a photo of me at the stadium’s inaugural game, that memorable opening night victory vs. the Braves.

When I saw it, the first thing I did was read the back of the ticket. For those who’ve never bothered with the fine print, it’s an eye-opener. My favorite highlights:

By use of this ticket, the ticket holder agrees that… the Club issuing the ticket is the exclusive owner of all copyrights and… shall have the perpetual and unrestricted right and license to use his or her name, image, likeness, and/or voice in any broadcast, telecast, photograph, video and/or sound recording taken in connection with the game for all purposes and in all media known and unknown throughout the universe.

Yes, I think that covers all the bases. If I ever need a lawyer, I’m calling those guys.

See you tonight in Section 128. Save me your ticket stub!

Abe Lincoln taunts racing presidents

The Washington Nationals teased the home crowd of 36,000 fans who showed up at Nationals Park on Saturday night to see the Nats take on the Chicago Cubs. Much as Teddy Roosevelt has done throughout the season in the presidents race, the Nationals took a big lead and had victory in sight more than once, but repeatedly failed to deliver.

Perhaps wanting to spare the home crowd from multiple tortures, Teddy teased no one tonight. In the 4th-inning presidents race, Abe Lincoln pulled in front early and never trailed, building a margin comfortable enough to let him turn and taunt his fellow presidents before crossing the finish line.

Time for a fresh start. Let Teddy Win!

The dismissal of Manny Acta has kept Nationals bloggers busy during this All Star break, but with no presidential activity at Nationals Park all week, we’ve kept it quiet here. I try to keep LetTeddyWin about the ball park experience, saving opinions about team moves for Twitter and Facebook.

But with all the talk in NatsTown about a “fresh start” this week, it seemed appropriate to consider whether the same might be possible for Teddy Roosevelt.

At the season’s midpoint, Teddy’s streak of losses is approaching it’s 3rd anniversary. Teddy’s first loss came in a July, 2006 weekend series against the Chicago Cubs.

The Nationals’ new era starts this weekend with a new manager and the Cubs in town once again. How appropriate would it be to kick things off with a victory for Teddy?

Management is looking for a change — something to fire up the team and the fans. I say Let Teddy Win!

Homestand notes:

The Nats will be wearing red uniforms all weekend, and fans are being encouraged to “get your red on” by filling the stands with red shirts and caps.

The Washington Post is continuing the Twitter experiment it started over July 4th weekend, documenting the fan experience in real time from Nationals Park. Share your thoughts during the game, tagging your tweets with #natswp and your section #.

Finally, there are some deals to be had for the homestand. Through noon Thursday, Professionals in the City has a limited number of $10 tickets in the 200 level for Friday night’s game vs. the Cubs, and Goldstar has discounted outfield seats for Monday night’s game vs. the Mets.

Photo by Flickr user afagen

Abe Lincoln says “Make Teddy Earn It!”

A member of the Nat Pack holds up a sign reading Let Teddy Win at Nationals ParkAbe Lincoln set out to make a point on Sunday at Nationals Park.

As the presidents were being announced for the 4th-inning presidents race, “Honest Abe” jumped out of the centerfield gate like a bat out of hell, staking a huge lead over the other presidents but heading straight for the stands along the first base line, where somebody was holding up a sign that read “Let Teddy Win.”

Racing President Abe Lincoln says Make Teddy Earn ItAbe grabbed the sign and held it up, then ripped it in half, reached into the stands, and produced another sign that read “Make Teddy Earn It!”

The Great Emancipator, who has been accused of cheating before, is obviously not a fan of the Let Teddy Win movement, instead wanting us to believe that he keeps winning all these races on his own.

But we know the truth. If Teddy Roosevelt were truly allowed to let loose, he’d lift this curse and put a serious whipping on his Mt. Rushmore counterparts that they’d never forget.

Photos by Flickr members Tory Brown and _rockinfree
Video by YouTube member TheTeddyRoosevelt.

Toe-to-Toe with Presidents Teddy Roosevelt and Stan Kasten at first-ever NatsFest

Natsfest crowd at Nationals ParkNationals Park was abuzz with life on this cold winter day as thousands of Washington Nationals fans were drawn to the first annual NatsFest fan fest. For the ticket price of just $10.00, Nats fans were able to wander through the usually-restricted field level concourse, lounge in the home team clubhouse, sit in a $300+ Presidents Club seat, take a swing from live pitching in the Nats’ indoor batting cage, and mingle with the likes of manager Manny Acta, General Manager Jim Bowden, team President Stan Kasten, broadcasters, players, and more.

Jim Bowden answers questions from fans at NatsFestAs Steinberg documents well in this evening’s Sports Bog, the Q&A sessions with Acta, Bowden, Kasten, and Assistant GM Mike Rizzo were packed and lively, with numerous questions about the team’s off-season spending (or lack thereof); but Kasten also drew a number of terrific questions about the fan experience, and in what Steinberg called “perhaps the best moment of the day,” addressed the Teddy question.

Kasten told the crowd that he has been a visitor to LetTeddyWin.com. “I’m asked all the time about this Let Teddy Win stuff,” Kasten said, “and ‘Stan, when is Teddy gonna win?’ as if I’m Nostradamus or something like that. How could I know…? But I do know this: Law of averages says he’s gonna win some day, and the only way to be sure you’re here for when that happens is to come every night!”

Stan Kasten answers questions from fans at NatsFestKasten promised a number of changes to the fan experience for 2009, including expansion of the Red Porch to bring tables into the stadium seating area, centerfield plaza improvements to include a “fire pit,” and more food options including value meals at concession stands and “experiments with all-you-can-eat sections” on select game nights.

Kasten also shed some light on why the giant baseball that had been depicted above the Red Loft in pre-construction renderings of Nationals Park never appeared for the inaugural season, explaining that “something” would be installed above the red loft, but that it was pending negotiations with sponsors. Considering that Kasten oversaw the installation of the giant Coke bottle above Turner Field in Atlanta, it’s all making sense now.

The Washington Nationals Racing Presidents at NatsFestThe Nationals racing presidents were noticeably absent from the concourses and activities throughout the park, but could be found behind a door being guarded by Nationals mascot Screech in the “Kids Zone,” a large room in the stadium’s conference center.

Who knew ball parks had conference rooms?

Washington Nationals Racing President Abe Lincoln at NatsfestThe Kids Zone looked remarkably well-staffed and organized, with young Nats fans being entertained by Clint Khoury and the Nat Pack, plus racing presidents Teddy, Abe, George, and Tom, and activities including a moon bounce, wiffle ball, face painting, balloon animals, caricatures, and even a Guitar Hero arcade.

Most remarkable was that the kids zone crowd paled in comparison with the lines that formed for all the “adult” activities. Even the wait for a hand-painted caricature was minimal compared to the time people were spending upstairs waiting for a photo with Ryan Zimmerman. The kids looked like they were having a blast, though it made me nervous to see Abe Lincoln helping kids in and out of the moon bounce. I just don’t trust that guy…

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