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.

That Cat, grounds crew create presidents race chaos

How do you follow up on what was arguably the most electric night in team history?

The day after a sellout crowd was mesmerized by Stephen Strasburg’s debut, and Teddy barely missed making a little history of his own, the Nationals racing presidents answered that question by throwing out everything but the proverbial kitchen sink.

Wednesday’s 4th-inning presidents race looked at first like a repeat of the night before.  The “un-racing sausages” joined Pittsburgh’s racing pierogies in a crowded field, and held a lead over the presidents into the final turn.

On this night, however, the critter waiting in ambush was none other than long-time presidential nemesis “That Cat,” who had recruited the Nationals Park grounds crew to the cause.  They stormed onto the field, taking down all of the visiting mascots, and leaving Thomas Jefferson with a clear path to victory.

Video courtesy of YouTube member theteddyroosevelt

On a historic night, Teddy fails to make history of his own

Strasburg's First Major League PitchIt’s safe to say that the Washington Nationals presidents race was not the main event Tuesday at Nationals Park. The mood was absolutely electric as 40,315 came to witness the major league debut of Stephen Strasburg, and despite hype and expectations that seemed impossible to meet, the rookie managed to exceed them, posting one of the greatest pitching debuts in major league history.

Expectations were high for Teddy Roosevelt as well, as many in the crowd expressed their hope that the Bull Moose would do his part to help mark the dawn of a new Nationals era with a 4th-inning victory.

The Nationals pulled out all the stops when the race began, as the “Un-racing sausages” (the Nationals’ parodies of Milwaukee’s famous racing mascots) jumped out of the gate to start the presidents race. The four presidents followed, tailed by Pittsburgh’s own racing pierogies, and a couple of secret service agents on Segways, creating a very crowded field.

Thomas Jefferson and Teddy Roosevelt broke away from the crowded pack early, along with racing sausage Choriz-No. Then Teddy put on a burst of speed, sending the packed house into a frenzy.

That’s when pierogie Cheese Chester appeared along the first base line. It was a familiar site to presidents race fans, and a Teddy ambush looked inevitable.

Chester took a running start as the racers entered the home stretch, but instead of tackling Teddy, Chester ran between the two presidents and put a full-on body slam on Choriz-no.

That left nothing but daylight between Teddy and his first-ever presidents race victory; but in a race to the finish, Teddy ran out of steam, and Thomas Jefferson passed him on the inside to capture the win.

As Tom celebrated, and boos rained down from the sellout crowd, Teddy could do nothing but bend over in shame.

More photos from Tuesday

Video courtesy of YouTube member lfahome.

Half-price Coupon Code “for Teddy’s Fans” to see Stephen Strasburg Debut. GOING FAST.

The Washington Nationals announced this evening that 2009 #1 draft pick Stephen Strasburg will make his highly-anticipated major league debut on June 8th at Nationals Park. The team had just released a coupon code “for Teddy’s fans” to use during that week’s series vs. the Pittsburgh Pirates.

This evening, some tickets are still available at half price in the outfield corners ($18) and outfield mezzanine ($15). Order at Nationals.com using Coupon Code “TEDDY”.

Good luck.

Strasburg Nationals debut tickets sold out9:30pm UPDATE:
Only singles left now, but lower bowl seats still available at $18 with coupon.

10:15pm UPDATE:
Sold out.

Congrats to those who got in.

As always, 400 Grandstand-level seats (Section 401/402) will be available for $5.00 each at the gate before the game. No coupon required.

Teddy Roosevelt leveled by racing pierogie at Pittsburgh’s PNC Park

The Nationals’ racing presidents and the racing pierogies of Pittsburgh have a 2-year tradition of traveling to each others’ ball parks when the teams play each other; but after May’s debacle in which the racing pierogies tricked the presidents and won a race at Nationals Park, fans were left wondering whether the embarrassed presidents would make an appearance for this weekend’s Nationals/Pirates series at Pittsburgh’s PNC Park.
Pittsburgh's racing pierogie Potato Pete levels Washington Nationals racing president Teddy Roosevelt
On Friday night, the question was answered when the presidents appeared for a 4-team mascot relay race. Abe Lincoln was paired with Teddy Roosevelt and George Washington was paired with Thomas Jefferson, with Teddy and Tom poised to run anchor.

Abe Lincoln finished the opening leg in last place, but on the anchor leg, Teddy put on a burst of speed. That’s when pierogie Potato Pete, who had not been participating in the race, ran onto the field and straight into Teddy, leveling him to the ground. Here’s the race as it was called in the park:

The take-down was featured on ESPN’s SportsCenter, where SportsCenter anchor Scott Van Pelt called it “the greatest highlight I’ve ever seen”:

After false start, Pittsburgh pierogie wins Nationals presidents race

Its fair to say that after almost three years of presidents race mishaps and oddities, it would be hard to imagine any result that would stun the Nationals Park crowd; but last night, the unthinkable happened.

The Pittsburgh Pirates’ racing pierogies were at Nationals Park for the final game of their 4-game series. In the 4th inning, Nationals pitcher Craig Stammen was cruising through a perfect start in his major league debut. Perhaps the quick work Stammen was making of the Pirates caught the racing presidents off guard, but when the gates opened for the mid-inning presidents race, Abe Lincoln false-started, then pulled back. The Pierogies took off, and nobody caught them. Cheese Chester was first to the finish line, marking the first time ever that a president did not win the presidents race!

It’s been tough to get any official word from the team, but indications are that this was not what they had planned.

Video by YouTube member TheTeddyRoosevelt

Pittsburgh’s Racing Pierogies run into trouble at Nationals Park

Mascots were coming out of the woodwork tonight at Nationals Park as the Pittsburgh Pirates rolled into town for a 4-game series. Just as they did last season, the Pirates brought the giant racing pierogies from PNC Park’s Great Pierogie Race.

The racing pierogies joined tonight’s 4th-inning presidents race and nearly stole the victory from the Nationals’ own presidents; but with Cheese Chester and Oliver Onion in the lead, Teddy’s nemesis That Cat appeared and clotheslined them both, allowing Abe Lincoln to take the victory.

Video courtesy of Charles Diaz

Teddy Roosevelt Goes 0-for-Pittsburgh

The Washington Nationals’ long road trip started off with a whimper, as the team took just 1 of 3 games this week vs. the Pirates at PNC Park in Pittsburgh.

Washington Nationals Racing President Teddy Roosevelt at PNC Park in PittsburghIt was however a slightly more successful series if measured in terms of fan goodwill. The rivaly between the Washington Nationals and Pittsburgh Pirates falls somewhere between benign and nonexistent, so this year the teams decided to inject a little extra fun into the contest by sending mascots to the other team’s stadium.

After hosting the Pirates’ Racing Pierogies at Nationals Park in May, the Nationals visited Pittsburgh’s PNC Park this week with members of the Nat Pack in tow, including racing presidents George, Tom, Abe, and Teddy.

After Teddy’s disastrous turn running anchor for the presidents in relay races against the pierogies in games 1 and 2, the mascots hung up the cleats for game three today and just entertained the fans.

Kudos to Stan Kasten and the Nats organization for spreading the goodwill and putting the presidents on the road. I hope we get to see more of this type of reciprocity with other teams around the league.

Just keep the Phillie Phanatic out of Nationals Park.

Photo courtesy of Angela Calo

Teddy Blows Relay Race vs. Pierogies in Pittsburgh

A change of venue momentarily appeared to have been the key to Teddy Roosevelt’s first victory, but the bull moose blew it on the road last night in Pittsburgh.

Washington Nationals' racing presidents Teddy and Tom with racing pierogie Jalapeno Hanna at PNC ParkAs expected, the Washington Nationals racing presidents made their first road trip with the team to appear with the racing pierogies at the Pittsburgh Pirates’ PNC Park.

The series kicked off last night with a relay race pitting Pittsburgh’s own racing pierogies vs. Washington’s racing presidents. George Washington led off the race for the presidents and handed off to speedster Abe Lincoln who, in typical fashion, sprinted ahead of the field, ensuring a solid lead for racing president Thomas Jefferson to hand to anchor runner Teddy Roosevelt for the final leg.

That’s where it fell apart.

Instead of running straight down the first base line for the easy victory, Teddy mugged for the crowd and started up the ramp in right field corner. Those precious wasted seconds were all that was needed for the racing pierogies to steal back the lead. Teddy figured it out too late, making a run for the finish line but falling short of Jalapeno Hanna, who gave the racing pierogies the win.

Photo courtesy of Angela Calo

Could Teddy Win a Presidents Race in Pittsburgh?

Reliable sources tell me that our own Washington Nationals racing presidents will be hitting the road with the team tomorrow to visit Pittsburgh’s beautiful new PNC Park for the 3-game series between the Nationals and Pirates.

In early May, the Pittsburgh Pirates’ racing pierogies visited Nationals Park for a weekend series between the two teams. The resulting antics included a combined mascot relay race and the uncomfortable site of watching Teddy chase a Pierogie with a giant fork.

After his embarrassing disqualification on Saturday, perhaps a change of scenery could do Teddy some good. I hope to get some photos from Pittsburgh to share here.

flickr photo by paphotofan

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