No Teddy, no Taft for racing president auditions

George Washington President Race Auditions Nationals ParkThe Nationals held their annual racing president auditions Saturday at Nationals Park, but hopefuls looking to taste a first victory dressed as William Howard Taft left disappointed.

In continuing with a long-standing tradition, only the costumes of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Abe Lincoln were available for the auditions. Teddy Roosevelt, as usual, was reportedly on vacation, and contestants were told newcomer William Howard Taft is resting for the season.

With the Nats expected to draw record crowds this season, the part-time job is as coveted as ever. 58 candidates were invited to the tryouts from about 300 applicants. Previous jobholders must reapply annually.

Racing president auditions have become a Presidents Day weekend tradition in DC in recent years, but the 2013 tryouts were postponed to March as the presidents paid a special visit to Mt. Rushmore and the Black Hills of South Dakota to celebrate Presidents Day this year.

Video: WTOP

Racing president auditions postponed as Teddy Roosevelt & William Howard Taft race to Mt. Rushmore

Racing president auditions will not be held on Presidents Day weekend this year.

The Washington Nationals announced this evening that they would break the tradition in order to promote their newly-conjured rivalry between racing president fan favorite Teddy Roosevelt and newcomer William Howard Taft.

The two presidents will take off Friday in a 4-day race to race to Mt. Rushmore National Memorial in South Dakota, where they will meet up with their fellow racing presidents on Presidents Day.

The Nationals will promote the race as “Bill and Teddy’s Executive Adventure,” and ask fans on Twitter to use the hashtags #VoteBill or #VoteTeddy beginning Friday to pick their favorite. One supporter of each president will win a “private mascot appearance” with her choice.

The Nats had been mum about confirming the date for auditions, and now we know why. Ted and Bill’s road trip have pushed the auditions to Saturday, March 2.

Nationals Presidents Race AuditionsPresidents Race AuditionsApplicants have only until next Wednesday, February 20 to apply for the part-time summer position by sending a cover letter, resume and photo to entertainment@nationals.com.

As always, applicants must be adults between 5’7” and 6’ 6” in height, can handle wearing a 45-pound costume for hours, can commit to at least 35 home games, and can run 200 yards in 40 seconds or less (yes, that’s with the costume still on).

The Nationals typically select 50 to 60 applicants to be invited to auditions, in which they will race against each other, run a 40-yard dash, dance, and show their celebration skills.

For a sense of what’s in store, check out our video chronicle from last year’s auditions:

Video: 2012 Racing President Auditions

Nationals Presidents Race AuditionsPresidents Race AuditionsNationals Presidents Race AuditionsNationals Presidents Race Auditions2012 Presidents Race AuditionsYoung and old, male and female, a lucky few from every corner of the U.S. were invited to Nationals Park on Saturday for the sixth annual racing president auditions.

Nearly 300 people submitted applications for the coveted part-time summer positions. From that pool, only 57 received invitations to try out in person on Presidents Day weekend.

Incumbent presidents have no electoral advantage. Even veterans have to re-audition each year.

The extensive screening included panel interviews plus a range of skills tests which are done in-costume. “We are looking for people who are ready to have a good time,” said Nationals Entertainment Manager Tom Davis, but the day is also designed to weed out those who lack the speed, strength, and stamina to do it in a 45-pound costume.

“It’s like having a big hiking book bag on your back with a few cases of beer sitting on your shoulders,” said one contestant from Bethesda.

Applicants took turns donning the giant costumes, then completing a 40-yard dash followed by two back-to-back presidents races. Candidates were then immediately asked to show off their dance moves and strike a victory pose.

Participants got to choose which costume they wanted to wear, with a notable exception. Teddy Roosevelt has never attended the annual auditions.

“Teddy takes a vacation every year right around presidents day weekend,” said Davis. “I got a postcard from Teddy in Barbados.”

In keeping with tradition, the racing presidents packed up and hit the road to New York, where they will appear Monday during the annual New York Islanders Presidents Day hockey game at Nassau Coliseum.

The presidents will then go into hiatus as the newest batch of presidents prepare for opening day.

Full video report below.

Thanks to espnW’s Amanda Rykoff for sharing her footage of Abe’s tumble. Check out Amanda’s report from inside the George Washington costume at Saturday’s auditions.

Nationals Racing President Auditions Set for February 18

If you have presidential aspirations, it’s not too late to enter the 2012 race.

Washington Nationals Racing Presidents AuditionsAs expected, the Washington Nationals today announced their Presidents Race tryouts for 2012, to be held Saturday, February 18th at Nationals Park.

The Nats are looking for fun-loving team members between 5’7” and 6’ 6” in height, who can handle wearing a 45-pound costume for hours, and can run 200 yards in 40 seconds or less (yes, that’s with the costume still on).

Nationals presidents race tryoutsYou must also be available for at least 35 home games this year.

The Nationals have made the racing president auditions a Presidents Day weekend tradition. To score an invitation and your chance to run in the footsteps of giants, you must e-mail a cover letter, resume and recent photo to entertainment@nationals.com by February 10. Tryouts are closed to the public.

Nationals Racing President AuditionsIn previous years, candidates have been asked to race against each other, run a 40-yard dash, dance, and show their celebration skills during the tryouts, which are held rain or shine (Two years ago, auditions were held in deep snow).

For a sense of what’s in store, check out our video chronicle from last year’s auditions:

Nat Pack and Racing President Auditions

Nat Pack AuditionsThe Washington Nationals are looking for outgoing and energetic athletes, gymnasts, dancers, cheerleaders, promotional models and “overall outstanding personalities” to join the on-field entertainment team this season at Nationals Park.

Tryouts to join the Nat Pack, the team’s “fan ambassadors” who lead cheers and take part in fan promotions throughout the season, will be held
Nat Pack AuditionsJanuary 28-29 at Nationals Park, and applications are due by next Monday, January 23. Candidates are asked to send their photo, resume, and cover letter to entertainment@nationals.com. Details here.

In keeping with tradition, we expect the all-important 2012 presidents race auditions to occur at Nationals Park on February 18, but according to the team, this year’s dates have not been finalized. Presidents race tryouts traditionally occur on Presidents Day weekend, with applications due a week prior.

Stay tuned. The Nats have promised details on this as well as the national anthem tryouts soon.

Video: 2011 Presidents Race Auditions

Nationals Racing President AuditionsRacing President auditions were held Saturday at Nationals Park, continuing
a 5-year tradition of assembling Mount Rushmore hopefuls for tests of speed, stamina, and silliness on Presidents Day weekend.

The Nationals received over 150 applications for the coveted president positions according to Entertainment coordinator Tom Davis, and 60 applicants were selected to receive
Nationals Racing President Auditionsinvitations to Saturday’s tryouts.

Candidates were asked to run a 40-yard dash in costume, compete against each other in two races, demonstrate their dancing and celebrating skills, and complete a panel interview with the entertainment staff.

For those who’d never run before in a 10-foot high, 45-pound costume, wind gusts of up to 60 mph added to the degree-of-difficulty; but the conditions
Nationals Racing President Auditionswere a welcome alternative to last season for returning candidates, who last year had to race in two feet of snow.

As in previous years, Teddy Roosevelt was absent from the proceedings, but the contestants were able to run in the traditional 2006-2010 period garb costumes of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Abraham Lincoln.

Our video chronicle of the day:

This year, three guest media candidates donned the famous costumes on Saturday, resulting in some great additional perspectives for PR fans. Danny Rouhier from WJFK 106.7 The Fan filed this video chronicle, Washington Post fitness columnist Lenny Bernstein added his outstanding perspective, and Dave Levy from WeLoveDC added this terrific report.

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