Nationals racing presidents at Pittsburgh’s PNC Park

The racing presidents accompanied the Washington Nationals to Pittsburgh’s PNC Park this week, marking the fifth straight year the presidents have faced off with Pittsburgh’s racing pierogies.

Racing Presidents vs Racing Pierogies at PNC Park, photo by Joseph GuevaraPNC Park has never been kind to the presidents — particularly Teddy Roosevelt, who famously got leveled there by Potato Pete in 2009.

Perhaps that’s why he and sat out the first race of the series Tuesday night. As George Washington and Abe Lincoln squared off against Jalapeño Hannah and Sauerkraut Sal, Teddy and Thomas Jefferson manned the finish line.

As they always seem to do at home, the pierogies trounced the presidents.

Photo courtesy Joseph Guevara

Presidents close out series with a traditional footrace

Presidents Race vs Pierogies - NationalsWashington Nationals Presidents RaceWhen the Nationals’ racing presidents and the Pirates’ racing pierogies get together, fireworks usually ensue, and this week was no different.

But after Friday’s hard hits and Saturday’s beatings, the eight participants managed a traditional footrace Sunday at Nationals Park.

Wearing their traditional period garb for Sunday’s race, the presidents got off to a slow start, but once again Abe Lincoln turn on the afterburners, and passed all four pierogies at the finish to secure his lead in the presidents race standings.

For Teddy, pitcher Jason Marquis, and Nationals fans who endured blistering heat to watch a 10-2 loss, Sunday was otherwise a notable failure. Even an appearance by SpongeBob Squarepants for Nickelodeon Day turned problematic. As noted by NatsNQ, the Square One failed in his attempts to climb onto the dugout, and got stuck in the stands.

Race video and photos courtesy of YouTube member lfahome.
SpongeBob Squarepants fail courtesy of NatsNQ

Video: Pierogies’ send Teddy and Tom airborne

Pittsburgh's Pierogies take on the Nationals' racing presidentsGeorge Washington takes the presidents raceAn animated crowd welcomed the Washington Nationals back to Nationals Park Friday to begin an extended home stand, and celebrated in walk-off style with a 2-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates.

As they have done every year since Nationals Park was opened, the Pirates brought their racing pierogie mascots along for the ride to participate in the 4th-inning presidents race.

Teddy, in particular, had some unfinished business with the pierogies, but fans hoping for Teddy to leverage his home field advantage were sorely disappointed.

The four pierogies started the race at the opposite end of the course, running towards the predidents. Pierogies Sauerkraut Saul and Oliver Onion went straight for Thomas Jefferson and Teddy, plowing into them hard enough to knock them into the air.

Cheese Chester broke off and dragged down Lincoln, but Jalapeño Hannah simply missed her assignment, leaving George Washington with a clear path to the finish line.

Video courtesy of YouTube member lfahome

Pierogies show up racing presidents in Pittsburgh

It’s been a tough and bizarre week for the Washington Nationals, who’ve had trouble finding their rhythm in the face of weather postponements, canceled off days and three unscheduled double-headers.

Pittsburgh Racing Pierogies vs Washington Racing Presidents at PNC ParkSo too for the racing presidents, who continued a tradition of joining the Nats as they visited Pittsburgh’s PNC Park on Friday only to get rained out; but Saturday night, Abe Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt were on hand to finally kick off the series with an unofficial foot race vs. two of Pittsburgh’s racing pierogies, Cheese Chester and Jalapeño Hannah.

As for that bad rhythm, Teddy Roosevelt completely ignored the starter’s call and jumped out to a huge lead, but ran out of gas mid-race and was passed by the field, with Jalapeño Hannah taking the tape for the Pierogies.

And for the record, thank goodness the Nationals’ PA announcer doesn’t sound like this guy:

Video courtesy of YouTube member lfahome

Teddy returns to the scene of the crime, and it’s not pretty

It’s been more than a year since the Nationals racing presidents last appeared at Pittsburgh’s PNC Park — an infamous visit in which Teddy Roosevelt became a SportsCenter highlight when Pittsburgh Pirates racing pierogie Potato Pete took Teddy down in an open field tackle that ESPN’s Scott Van Pelt called “the greatest highlight I’ve ever seen.”

The presidents took the field at PNC Park once again this Labor Day weekend for a series of relay races vs. the pierogies, and by all accounts, Teddy was not about to let a renegade Pierogie take him down again.

On Saturday night, Teddy ran the anchor leg, and sure enough, he held the lead again in the home stretch, but the Pittsburgh mascots left nothing to chance, sending not one but two pierogies after him. Teddy was promptly flattened, keeping the presidents winless in their 3 seasons of visits to PNC Park.

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.

Nationals invite standing room crowd — and Pierogies — to Strasburg’s debut

As the hype for pitcher Stephen Strasburg’s debut reaches a fever pitch, with media coverage rivaling a league championship series, the Washington Nationals are releasing additional $10 standing room only tickets via the stadium box office this afternoon, ensuring an all-time Nationals Park attendance record will be set tonight.

Pittsurgh's Racing Pierogies at Nationals ParkWith the stands overflowing and the auxiliary press box bursting at the seams, the Nats have still found room to invite a handful of additional non-paying guests — Pittsburgh’s Racing Pierogies — who will no-doubt make an appearance during the 4th-inning presidents race for the 3-game homestand.

A pierogies appearance at Nationals Park was not a foregone conclusion given what happened on their last trip to DC. Just one year ago, in the series finale, the Pittsburgh mascots apparently went off-script, tricking the presidents and winning a race at Nationals Park, the only time no president was declared a winner.

Later in the season, in a relay race at Pittsburgh’s PNC Park, racing pierogie Potato Pete ran onto the field from the stands and delivered a crushing open-field tackle on Teddy Roosevelt, a take-down that ESPN SportsCenter anchor Scott Van Pelt called “the greatest highlight I’ve ever seen.”

Some have speculated that tonight could be Teddy’s big night. In an evening sure to be filled with memorable highlights, let’s hope the Pierogies don’t play the spoiler.

Flickr photo by afagen

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