Great Promotions and Baseball Weather At Last

The Nats return home Tuesday night for seven games against the Cardinals and Giants, and it should be a great week for baseball at Nationals Park, with evening temperatures projected to be in the 70s throughout the homestand and some great fan promotions that should help fill the stands.

Free Thomas Jefferson racing president t-shirts for the first 10,000 Nationals Fans on T-Shirt Tuesday June 3.

The homestand kicks off with free Thomas Jefferson racing president t-shirts to the first 10,000 fans on T-Shirt Tuesday, followed by “Get Your Green On” night on Wednesday, Ryan Zimmerman bobblehead night on Thursday, and free baseball gloves for kids 12 and under on Sunday. Quite a lineup.

We’ll be looking to see if Thomas Jefferson disappoints his fans or runs away with the presidents race on his t-shirt night tomorrow. More importantly, after Teddy Roosevelt’s unexplained collapse in the last home game, is the Bull Moose back and ready for the challenge?

The Nationals Presidents Race Gets Political

Today the always entertaining Washington political blogger Howard Mortman used a little digital photoshoppery to encourage his readers to visualize opening day at Nationals Stadium in April, 2009.

Middle of the 4th inning.

Once again, Teddy comes in last, embarrassing himself while losing
to Abe, George and Tom.

But who’s that new President with the big ears and winning smile?

Howard, you may have gotten just two things wrong with your prediction. One is that instead of “Nationals Stadium,” you’re more likely to be reporting from Geico Field. Two is that regardless of opponent, Teddy, with his eternally sunny outlook, does not ever appear to embarrass himself.

Teddy and the Nats Collapse at the Finish Line

Presidents Race Photos - Teddy Falls & Loses to Abe at Nationals Park, May 26, 2008On a sunny Memorial Day afternoon at Nationals Park, the Washington Nationals completed their home-
stand with a bittersweet extra-innings loss to the the Milwaukee Brewers, failing to hold the lead after another great outing by pitcher Jason Bergmann who stretched his string of scoreless innings pitched to
19 2/3.

Teddy Roosevelt kept his less auspicious 145-game streak alive as he took a big lead into the final stretch of the presidents race for the second time this holiday weekend, only to collapse — literally — before reaching the finish line.

While the result was the same, it was nothing like Saturday night’s loss. On Saturday, Teddy seemed to have the presidents race in hand and high-stepped as he approached the finish line; but he slowed up just enough to be passed by the speedy Abraham Lincoln before they crossed the tape.

There would be no such premature celebrating at today’s presidents race. A serious and determined-looking Teddy grabbed the early lead and was still ahead of the pack as they reached the first base foul territory. Then suddenly, Teddy grabbed his neck and collapsed. As has become so common this year at Nationals Park, Abraham Lincoln was there to run past Teddy to grab his 14th presidents victory of the young season.

Is Teddy OK? Fans in section 128 were crying of foul play by Abe, who has been on a suspicious tear and taken 9 out of 14 presidents races in May. Teddy did walk off the field on his own. With the Washington Nationals now heading on the road, Teddy has until the next home game on June 3rd to recover.

Teddy Roosevelt Panther Attack Video

It took a couple of weeks, but alert youtube user squidpants has finally emerged with a video of the end of the April 27, 2008 presidents race, in which a person in a panther suit raced out of the stands to tackle Teddy Roosevelt as he approached the finish line.

The footage is grainy and there is a problem with the sound, but this has definitely earned its place on the Presidents Race Videos page.


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Teddy Roosevelt Says “Bring On the Sausages!”

Given Teddy Roosevelt’s pitiful record
in the Washington Nationals’ presidents race, he can hardly afford
to be thinking ahead to the next series, but that’s what he did on Wednesday night at Nationals Park.

At the start of our favorite 4th-inning ritual, a self-assured Abraham Lincoln once again spotted the other presidents a big lead, giving Teddy a chance at victory, but as the racing presidents came down the first base line, Teddy stopped and posed for Dave the videographer with a sign reading “Bring On the Sausages!”, and Thomas Jefferson raced on to beat Abe to the finish line.

In addition to disappointing his rooters in the stands, Teddy’s move also confused those in right field who couldn’t see the sign, including youtube user tsbicca:

The reference on the sign is, of course, to the Memorial weekend series which begins Friday night at Nationals Park against the Milwaukee Brewers. The Brewers’ Miller Park is home to the famous Sausage Race, which deserves credit for starting this whole racing mascot thing back in 1995 (it started at the old Milwaukee County Stadium as a promotion for Milwaukee’s Klement’s Sausage Company).

Earlier this month, when the Pittsburgh Pirates came to town, they brought the Racing Pierogies to Nationals Park. Could it be that we’ll see the original racing sausages in town this weekend?

Photos by flickr users Liliang and Philgarlic

Abe Lincoln Taunts Fellow Presidents But Fails to Deliver

The Washington Nationals presidents race has been nothing if not puzzling in the month of May. Abe Lincoln raised suspicions by kicking off the month on an inhuman tear, running like the wind and taunting the other racing presidents. Yesterday he rather abrubtly returned to earth, but tonight at Nationals Park, our 16th president was back to his speedy, aggressive and risk-taking ways.

As the presidents race began in the 4th inning, “Honest Abe” stepped back and let the other racing presidents pass him by. After spotting the others a healthy lead, Abe took off at breakneck speed, attempting to catch and pass the other presidents. However, his overconfidence got the best of him, and while he passed Teddy and Tom, he did not reach the finish line in time to pass George Washington.

This video by YouTube user unbleachedbrun misses the beginning but shows Abe outpacing the field from behind. We heard some other fans shouting “Abe is on the juice!” after the game, so Abe’s odd behavior has obviously not gone unnoticed.

Photos by flickr user Scott Ableman.

So Much For That Theory

A day after Abe Lincoln was accused of using illegal substances to fly past his presidents race opponents and keep his winning streak going, our 16th president came out sluggish tonight and finished last behind Teddy Roosevelt.

So much for that theory…

Thomas Jefferson picked up his first victory since April, but Teddy still needs some help.

I’ll be cheering for Teddy from Section 418 with a group of 20 on Tuesday night. See you there!

Presidents Race Featured in First Post Hunt

Our beloved racing presidents continue to entrench themselves as fixtures in Washington, DC culture.

High culture, I might add…

Sunday brought thousands of people to downtown Washington for the first-ever Post Hunt — a live, brainteasing, scavenger hunt/puzzle founded and hosted by humor columnists Dave Barry and Gene Weingarten, and Washington Post Magazine editor Tom Shroder.

The contestants picked up clues which led them through downtown DC, and eventually to Washington Square, where they found puzzle #4 — a race being run repeatedly the Washington Nationals’ racing presidents and a man in a deer costume.

As the race was run again and again, the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place “in the money” finishers were repeatedly announced as the deer, followed by George Washington and Abe Lincoln. A sign “Presidents Race: A Time For Change” was an additional clue that participants were to consider the money values of the winners — the buck, followed by Washington (the quarter) and Lincoln (the penny).

The solution to this puzzle: $1.26.

Photo by flickr user afagen

Could Abe Lincoln Be on the Juice?

What’s going on with Honest Abe?

Barely one quarter into the 2008 season, racing president Abraham Lincoln is running away from the pack in the standings, having won 7 of the last 8 and more than half of all presidents races so far.

In fact, since the end of April, our 16th president has been running out of the gate like Mercury, taking huge commanding leads over the other presidents in almost every race. The Great Emancipator’s only loss in that time was on Saturday night, May 10, when his lead over the other presidents was so big that he stopped and waited for the others to catch up, then lost to George in a photo finish.

In that time, #16 has become a bit of a showboater, taunting and bumping the other presidents as he outruns them. This all begs the question. What’s Honest Abe been putting in his breakfast cereal?

What do you think? As the team returns to Nationals Park to begin a homestand against Philadelphia, I say we should all keep an eye on Abraham Lincoln. If #16 continues this improbable run, an investigation might be in order.

Photo by flickr user melanie.phung

Teddy Delivers Flowers Instead of Victory on Mother’s Day

On a rainy Mother’s Day afternoon, Teddy Roosevelt today completed another winless homestand at Nationals Park.

As the Washington Nationals were engineering another heartbreaking loss to the improbably division-leading Florida Marlins, Teddy Roosevelt was taking matters into his own hands, jumping out to a huge lead in this afternoon’s presidents race.

But regular observers of our home team’s quirky 4th-inning ritual saw the bouquet of flowers in Teddy’s hand as a sign of impending doom for our nation’s 26th president.

Sure enough, he shifted off-course near the finish line, entering the stands to deliver the flowers. Abe Lincoln took the tape, further extending his lead over the other presidents for the season.

Photo by flickr user afagen.

Abe Wins Fifth Straight to Close Nationals Homestand

Nationals Park has indeed become a friendly home for the Washington Nationals, who completed their longest homestand of the year Sunday with a third straight series win, raising their record at home to 10-8 as they leave town to play the Diamondbacks in Arizona.

The 2008 presidents race has taken on quite a bit of intrigue as well. This weekend, Nationals Park was visited by Pittsburgh Pirate mascots including the giant costumed pierogies from PNC Park’s pierogie races. On Saturday, they joined the racing presidents and were chased by Teddy Roosevelt yielding a giant fork and knife. On Sunday, they turned the presidents race into a relay, and the anchor leg was won handily by Abe.

Is this a sign of things to come?
Did you like seeing the other team’s mascots at Nationals Park (I’m trying to imagine the Philly Fanatic making it out alive)?

Perhaps lost amid the hullabaloo was Abraham Lincoln’s fifth straight victory, giving him as many wins so far this season as all the other racing presidents combined. Somebody’s got to stop the Great Emancipator before he puts the 2008 completely out of reach!

Photo by flickr user philliefan99

Equilibrium at Nationals Park

Could it be that we are seeing a state of order and balance established at Nationals Park? Time will tell, but the signs this week are very strong.

The first month at DC’s newest monument was certainly tumultuous. The spectacular collapses, jinxed batters, and injuries on the field were nothing next to the presidential booing, papal blessings, and cavemen and gorillas in the stands. Teddy Roosevelt showed his chops as an athlete, taking big leads in the presidents race only to be tackled by a panther and tripped by a giant banana.

Now out of nowhere the Nationals are stringing together wins and Shawn Hill is pitching like a staff ace. Even the scoreboard has started showing the correct information; but unfortunately, the surest sign that things are returning to normal is that Teddy is once again trailing the other racing presidents from wire to wire:

It’s hard to say which is more heartbreaking…

Teddy Tripped Up Again – Is This a Trend?

For the second straight day, Teddy Roosevelt took a big lead in the presidents race at Nationals Park, only to be tripped up by fan interference.

In the 4th inning of today’s exciting 2-0 victory over the Chicago Cubs, Teddy dashed out once again in front of George, Tom, and Abe; but as he made the turn around the warning track by the foul pole, a banana in pajamas ran out onto the field and laid right in Teddy’s path. “Look out, Teddy!” the announcer yelled, but it was too late. Teddy slipped on the banana, turning a
sure-thing victory into a quite unappealing defeat.

Yesterday’s panther attack was humiliation enough. Now one of the greatest presidents in U.S. history is being made the butt of a giant banana peel joke. Is this a sign of things to come for the rest of the homestand? For the 2nd straight day, our 26th president didn’t cheat and still had the lead. The homestand’s not over. It’s time to Let Teddy Win!

Photos by alert flickr users
The Ardvaark and The West End.

Panther Attacks Teddy Roosevelt During Presidents Race

Just when you thought you’d seen it all, when you thought Teddy had lost the presidents race in every conceivable way, comes the inconceivable at Nationals Park.

On Saturday night in front of a restless crowd watching the Washington Nationals trail the Chicago Cubs by a score of 5-0 in the fourth inning, Teddy broke from the pack just as he had done the night before. However, on this night, he stuck to the rules and ran a clean race. No cheating, no cutting the outfield corners, just looking like he was going to hang onto the lead from wire to wire.

That’s when the panther — yes, a panther — pounced out from the stands and tackled him, stunning the crowd and bringing a chorus of boos as the other presidents raced by. Thanks to Miss Chatter for snapping the photo. In all the confusion, did anybody see who won? More importantly, is Teddy okay?

Teddy, Teddy, Teddy…


Thanks Miss Chatter for capturing and sending me this additional footage from the broadcast. As you can see at the end of the clip, the Let Teddy Win! contingent was out last night.

Comparing the 2 videos, it’s easy to see why fans on the first base line thought Teddy was robbed, while fans in other parts of the stadium had a better view of his cheating behavior.

Teddy, Teddy, Teddy… You didn’t have to cheat. You had the lead! We’ll see if he’s learned his lesson by tonight’s game.

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