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.

Presidents Race wins “Best on Field Promotion” of 2009

For the second time in their three full seasons, the Washington Nationals racing presidents have been awarded the “Golden Steagle” award for Best Contest or On Field Promotion of the year.

The award is bestowed annually by Gameops.com, a web site which connects sports teams and event producers with ideas and tools for on-field promotions. Our own racing presidents won the award in 2007 and were nominated again last year.

The 2009 award was granted jointly this year to both the Nationals presidents and Milwaukee’s racing sausages, also previous winners in 2003, and widely recognized as baseball’s original racing mascots. Gameops editor John Cudo called this year’s tie “a case of split between two great classic promotions….and an on-going battle which ends in a tie on this day.”

The Nationals mascot team mocked the racing sausages earlier this year when the Milwaukee mascots refused to race against the presidents during a Nationals homestand vs. the Brewers.

Cudo, who works for the Cleveland Cavaliers and spent 7 years as the mascot for the Minnesota Timberwolves, has written numerous times about the presidents race and claims a “mild addiction” to the Let Teddy Win blog, calling it “a season long tutorial on how to keep a promotion you do every night interesting.”

According to Cudo, the annual Best Of awards are among the most popular features of their site. Nominations come from readers and are judged by a panel of industry leaders and insiders.

Presidents Race Voting, Teddy T-Shirt Night and More!

What a week! I was out of the country for the last Nationals homestand but you readers did a fantastic job of keeping the blog updated. My only question: Do any of you have photos of George Washington’s 7/31 take down of Thomas Jefferson?

Thanks to you, the Washington Nationals racing presidents have taken the lead in the current round of the MLB mascot brackets. Voting for this round closes tonight at 11pm EDT, so if you haven’t voted yet, vote now.

Of course, the biggest news is that the Nationals have started winning again, and new 2nd baseman Emilio Bonafacio appears to be the real deal — potentially another
building block of The Plan in place for years to come.

Reminder: Tuesday is Teddy Roosevelt T-Shirt Night at Nationals Park. Which streak will be broken? Bring your Teddy Roosevelt signs and wear your Let Teddy Win gear, and we’ll have a little pregame rally behind Section 102. If you don’t have your tickets yet, order them today!

Photo by flickr member The West End

Razor Scooter Is No Help to Teddy

If riding a motor scooter is considered cheating, then a foot-powered scooter must be ok, right?

This was apparently Teddy Roosevelt’s thinking as he prepared for the final presidents race of this Nationals Park homestand.

Two days after being disqualified for riding a motor scooter in the presidents race, Teddy Roosevelt chose a decidedly less high-tech method of cheating tonight for “Get Your Green On” night at Nationals Park.

Unfortunately, Teddy’s Razor scooter didn’t fare too well on the outfield warning track surface. He fell quickly behind the pack and finished so far behind winner Thomas Jefferson that the umpires, needing to start the bottom of the 4th inning, did not permit Teddy to finish the race.

They say in sports that the road can clear your head and allow you to focus. With Teddy’s record in Washington Nationals home games now standing at 0-for-152, this fan is eager to see if Teddy can bounce back tomorrow for the first presidents race road trip to Pittsburgh’s PNC Park.

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