After tripping incident, Nationals’ Teddy Roosevelt challenges The Bird to “unsanctioned race” on Saturday.

Washington Nationals vs. Baltimore Orioles Battle of the BeltwaysThe over 35,000 fans who packed Nationals Park for the opening game of the “Battle of the Beltways” series between the Washington Nationals and the Baltimore Orioles were treated to a spectacle of presidential proportions on Friday night.

Teddy Roosevelt’s supporters were out in full force, with Teddy signs throughout the stands and chants of “Teddy, Teddy” heard on a number of occasions. The fans were not disappointed when the 4th inning
Washington Nationals presidents race - Teddy is tripped by The Birdpresidents race kicked off, as Teddy Roosevelt took a commanding lead out of the gate and drew cheers as he rounded the warning track in right field.

Even the Baltimore Oriole mascot jumped onto the field to cheer for Teddy as he approached the finish line. Or so it seemed.

As Teddy Roosevelt neared the finish, The Bird stuck out a claw and tripped him, sending him reeling onto the dirt, as George Washington and the other racing presidents flew by. George took the victory and a bow as Teddy and The Bird scuffled along the baseline.

One inning later, a “press conference” was shown on the outfield high-definition scoreboard, announcing a grudge match between Teddy and The Bird. Teddy challenged The Bird to an “unsanctioned race” to be held during the 4th inning of Saturday night’s game between the Orioles and Nationals.

This unsanctioned event was then promoted repeatedly throughout the evening. It makes one wonder what surprises are in store for Saturday night.

Video of race and “press conference” by YouTube member QuakerWildcat:

The Washington Nationals are clearly pulling all the stops to make this a big weekend. Washington Nationals Saturday night moviesIn addition to the special presidents race between Teddy and The Bird (which the announcer described “the race of the century”) on Saturday night the Nationals are kicking off Nationals Park Saturday Night Movies. On select Saturday nights throughout the season, the Nationals will play a feature film after the game on the high-definition scoreboard. Concessions and parking will remain open during the movie, and fans are encouraged to move to any open seat on the 3rd base side of Nationals Park (presidential seats excepted).

But the big attraction is clearly the race itself. Let’s all show up on Saturday night prepared to root for Teddy Roosevelt as he takes on The Bird in this “unsanctioned” event. It’s sure to be a really good show.

Has it come to this?

It’s a sad state of affairs when our beloved Mount Rushmore racing presidents have to resort to violence to make the news.

Washington Nationals presidents raceFrom flickr member bullneck comes this disturbing photo of Tuesday night’s presidents race, in which Abe and Teddy used a trip wire to take down Thomas Jefferson and George Washington. The composition was featured as the DCist photo of the day.

Mercifully, the violence took the night off last night as Teddy Roosevelt grabbed a big lead on his own in the 4th inning presidents race. Unfortunately, a penguin (or more precisely, somebody in a rally penguin costume) caught his eye along the right field line, and Teddy followed it into the stands, giving Abe Lincoln the window he needed to steal the victory once again.

Of Note: At the half-way mark of the first home season at Nationals Park, Abe Lincoln has matched his entire win total of last year, taking 22 of the first 41 presidents races and showing no signs of slowing down.

Video by vimeo member Ed

Racing Presidents Are Not Inspired by Angels

With Angels in town this week, the racing presidents have been anything but.

On Monday night, our favorite mascots upped the ante in the quest to win the presidents race when Teddy Roosevelt and George Washington all but mugged Abraham Lincoln in the outfield, allowing Tom to take the victory. This just one night after Teddy was hip-checked into the outfield wall by Thomas Jefferson.

washington nationals presidents race teddy and abe tripping thomas jefferson.Tonight Abe Lincoln got his revenge on a seemingly trusting Teddy. Yes, Honest Abe himself joined forces with Teddy by setting up a trip wire to take down George and Tom. Of course, Abe then pushed Teddy aside to take his 21st presidents race of this young Washington Nationals’ season.

If this is the sort of behavior inspired by the Angels, I can’t imagine what will happen when the Orioles come to town on Friday.

Photo by flickr member Bullneck.

Abe Lincoln is Finally Beaten By Teddy… Literally !

It’s beginning to get ugly.

During the presidents race last night at Nationals Park, Teddy Roosevelt and George Washington decided to take things into their own hands.

Fed up with Abe Lincoln’s winning streak and increasingly arrogant showboating, Teddy and George wasted no time last night, knocking down Abe before he even reached the GEICO logo in centerfield, and giving him a beat-down as Thomas Jefferson ran uncontested to the finish line.

Abe did not finish the race and his condition is unknown. With five games left in the current homestand, one has to hope this doesn’t escalate any further.

Thomas Jefferson hip checks Teddy Roosevelt

It’s fairly safe to say that Teddy Roosevelt has nobody but himself to blame for his presidents race losing streak. Time after time, our beloved #26 has fallen short but taken the loss, kept his head up, and come back the next day to try again (sometimes try a little too hard).

That’s why yesterday’s display seemed so out of place. On Sunday at Nationals Park, Thomas Jefferson, never known to be a cheater himself, gave the bull moose a serious hip check as they ran across the outfield warning track. Abe Lincoln once again turned on the afterburners to claim a sweep of the Nationals’ home series against the Texas Rangers.

It seems unlikely, but could it be that the other presidents are starting to see Teddy as a threat?

Video by YouTube member ffwdrob.

Kangaroo Distracts Teddy from Presidents Race Victory

On Saturday night at Nationals Park, Teddy took a lead into the right field turn, but lost that lead when he ran into the corner of the outfield and emerged with a toy kangaroo. Abe Lincoln dashed by and won the race as Teddy attempted to hop to the finish line. I missed this spectacle and can’t quite explain the kangaroo. Does anybody have photos?

UPDATE: Video by YouTube member VelocityAtrocity:

Presidents race nominated again for best on-field promotion

It’s not necessarily a compliment to Stan Kasten to say that the presidents race is the best thing the Washington Nationals have going, but let’s just say that with half the starters on the DL and the team flirting with the worst record in baseball, the awards this year will be few and far between.

Washington Nationals racing presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Abe LincolnRegular readers know that the Washington Nationals presidents race was named best on-field promotion of 2007 by Gameops.com, a web site which connects sports teams and
event producers with ideas and tools
for on-field promotions.

GameOps editor John Cudo, who works for the Cleveland Cavaliers
and himself spent 7 years as the
mascot for the Minnesota Timberwolves, reported this week that the Washington Nationals presidents race has been nominated again for best on-field promotion of 2008.

Cudo 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. “The decision (last year) was overwhelming and simple,” Cudo told me via email. “Nearly everyone who had an opinion held the race in DC in very high regard.”

I’m rooting for the racing presidents to pull off the repeat. It may be Teddy’s best chance to claim a victory this year.

Photo by flickr member melanie.phung

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

Presidents Race Panther Attack Video

Thanks to scubasteveo887 for this new video of Thursday night’s presidents race from Nationals Park, in which a panther attacked Teddy Roosevelt during a wild game between the Washington Nationals and St. Louis Cardinals.

Digg ThisHoping to see your video soon from PNC Park in Pittsburgh, where the racing presidents were scheduled to appear tonight with the Pittsburgh Pirates’ racing pierogies.

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.

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

Abe Lincoln Says “This is Why I’m Hot!”

The Let Teddy Win GirlsThe temperature on the field for Garrett Mock’s major league pitching debut today at Nationals Park was over 100 degrees, and despite the repeated sound of “This is Why I’m Hot” by MIMS over the stadium P.A., the Nationals were anything but, giving up another early lead and failing to threaten a comeback.

The only people who didn’t appear slowed by the heat were the Let Teddy Win girls, who could be heard cheering all game throughout Section 407, and racing president Abraham Lincoln, who’s been on fire for more than a month and has won six of the last nine presidents races. Abe dashed passed the other presidents today and won by a comfortable margin, taunting the other presidents as he turned and stepped backward across the finish line. Teddy, meanwhile, appeared to be saving his energy for Monday night.

Teddy Disqualified for Riding a Motor Scooter

The thunder rumbled in the distance on a steamy Saturday night at Nationals Park as Giants pitcher Jonathan Sanchez and Nats pitcher Shawn Hill took a scoreless pitcher’s duel into the 8th inning.

Teddy Roosevelt is disqualified for riding a motor scooter in the Washington Nationals presidents race.With the crowd getting restless under the threatening skies, Teddy Roosevelt tried to single-handedly inject a little lightning of his own.

When George, Tom, Abe, and Teddy were announced for the 4th-inning presidents race, our favorite presidents #26 emerged from the centerfield fence riding a motor scooter.

Urged on by a cheering crowd, Teddy sported a big grin from wire-to-wire as he lapped his competition and crossed the finish line well ahead of the other racing presidents.

Teddy Roosevelt disqualified for riding motor scooter in Washington Nationals presidents raceOf course, he barely had time to blink before that sourpuss Screech put an end to the celebration, disqualifying Teddy for cheating while the other presidents were still just rounding the warning track. Teddy bent over in shame, but you’d think he would have learned this lesson by now.

Photos by andertho and The Nabob

Panther Returns To Attack Teddy During Presidents Race

Photos of the presidents race at Nationals Park.Followers of the presidents race agree that of all the crazy ways Teddy Roosevelt has managed to lose this year, few stack up to the panther attack that derailed our 26th president on
April 26th.

Last night at Nationals Park, the panther made a surprise return.

With Tim Redding and the Washington Nationals leading the St. Louis Cardinals by a seemingly comfortable margin in the middle of the 4th inning, Teddy dashed out to take an early presidents race lead. But the panther followed him out of the centerfield gate and chased him as he rounded the warning track.

The crowd was cheering for Teddy to beat the panther to the finish line, but there was little any of us could do other than grab a camera and record the inevitable.

It was a clean take-down.

As has happened so often this season, Abe was there to steal the victory. It makes one wonder who That Cat is working for.

It was all a fitting complement to a wild day at the ball park. With the teams’ already-thin pitching staffs stretched to the max by the last-minute doubleheader, big hits and wild plays were the order of the day. Two players hit their first career home runs, leads were blown by both teams, and finally, in the 10th inning of a 29-hit slugfest, Elijah Dukes capped a career night with his first homer as a National — a 2-run no-doubt-about-it game-winning shot.

Now that I think about it, it was such a night to remember that I forgot about the first game of the doubleheader. Did Teddy win?

Jefferson Holds Serve on a Rainy T-Shirt Tuesday

With two rain delays totalling over two hours in the early innings of Tuesday night’s contest, there weren’t many people left in the stands by the time the 4th-inning presidents race arrived at Nationals Park; but as had been speculated, Thomas Jefferson came from behind to take the presidents race on his very own T-Shirt Tuesday.

Among the fans receiving a free Thomas Jefferson racing president t-shirt was YouTube user weinholder, who stuck it out through to rain delay to record Tom’s victory:

As a fan in the background says, “you knew Tom was going to win on Tom t-shirt night.”

It does seem like a trend, doesn’t it? George won on his t-shirt Tuesday, and now Tom has won on his …which is why Teddy fans are excitedly looking forward to August 12.

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