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.

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.

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?

Nationals T-Shirt Tuesday Schedule Set

The Washington Nationals have finalized which Tuesday home games will feature free t-shirts with images of the racing presidents.

The promotion is part of T-Shirt Tuesdays, in which the first 10,000
fans to arrive at Tuesday night home games at Nationals Park receive a
free t-shirt courtesy of a Washington Nationals’ sponsor company.

All of the racing president’s T-Shirt Tuesdays are sponsored by tickets.com.

Thomas Jefferson will be featured
on T-Shirt Tuesday, June 3rd against the St. Louis Cardinals.

Abe Lincoln will be featured on T-Shirt Tuesday, July 8th against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Finally, Teddy Roosevelt will be featured on T-Shirt Tuesday, August 12 against the New York Mets.

Our first president had his big day last Tuesday against the Philadelphia Phillies, when fans received a free t-shirt with George Washington on the back and the phrase “Who’s Your Founding Father?”

George won the presidents race on his night. Coincidence? I can’t say, but if Tom and Abe win on their t-shirt Tuesdays, I’ll be circling August 12 on my calendar.

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

The Racing Presidents Invade Baltimore

This afternoon as the Washington Nationals’ welcomed Jason Bergmann back to the bigs with a thrilling 1-0 victory (and series win) over the Mets in New York, the racing presidents — George, Tom, Abe, and Teddy — took to the streets of Baltimore in preparation for this weekend’s series against the Orioles at Camden Yards.

Accompanied by team mascot Screech, the presidents taunted the Orioles Bird at the Inner Harbor, carrying signs that included “Old Bay Stinks!” (Tom), “Honestly, The Nats Will Sweep Baltimore Hun!” (Abe), “I Can Not Tell A Lie–The Nats Will Win!” (George), and of course “I’ll Race the Orioles Bird and Beat Him!” (Teddy) .

I was fortunate enough to be in Baltimore for business today, but didn’t have my camera with me(!). However, this video by WNST in Baltimore captures the spirit, and there are some other great shots over at Nats 320. Washington Post writers Dan Steinberg and Marc Fisher had separately predicted an unfriendly and even dangerous reception for the presidents by Baltimore locals; but while the presidents heard a smattering of boos and O’s cheers, the reception in the tourist-heavy Inner Harbor area was mostly enthusiastic.

Most surprisingly was the reaction by Orioles owner Peter Angelos, the long-time nemesis of DC baseball fans, who reacted politely to the visit, telling the Baltimore Sun “They’re welcome to do that. It is one huge megalopolis, you know? It’s about time we realize it.”

UPDATE: The Nationals confirmed that the presidents will not be racing at Camden Yards this weekend, but Screech will be there to represent the team.

Five Things I Loved About Nationals Park

Cup holders in every seat at Nationals ParkI know it’s just one game, but a few things about the opening day experience at Nationals Park left me quite hopeful about the notion that this is where I’ll be watching baseball games for the rest of my life.

Here are five of the reasons:

#5: Big Cup Holders. The team’s food policy states that you can bring 1-liter bottles of water into Nationals Park. Not being a soda guy, I picked up a case of 1-liter water bottles last week in preparation for the season. As you can see, that big 1 liter kahuna fits perfectly in the new cupholders.

Thankfully, my seat actually has a cupholder. Some seats did not, but that’s another story for another day.


#4: Four-Way Chili. Savvy Nationals fans back in the 2006 season at RFK Stadium knew how to find their way to the 300-level terrace food court, where Hard Times Cafe Hard Times Cafe at Nationals Parkhad a brief run as the food vendor of choice for the discerning palate. Now Hard Times Cafe is back at the new Nationals Park, serving fine Chili Nachos and “Chili Mac,” known to true devotees of Cincinnati chili as a “4 way” (chili, spaghetti, cheese, and onions). You’ll find Hard Times Cafe at Nationals Park next to Red, Hot & Blue in the left field food court.

Helmut Sundae
#3: Helmut Sundaes. One of the great injustices of the past 3 years is that I’ve been taking my kids to major league baseball games without buying them helmut sundaes. Maybe it’s me, but for a kid, helmut sundaes are as much as part of the sport as the 7th inning stretch. Now at Nationals Park, we finally have the real deal.


Washington Nationals 10th Man#2: Home Town Fans. OK call me crazy for dreaming, but opening day gave me hope that Nationals Park will deliver the best home field advantage in DC sports. Home colors, home traditions, home angles, and most importantly, home town fans. Sunday was the first Braves game I’ve been to when I didn’t hear the tomohawk chop, and when Chipper hit that homer, the place went dead silent. That’s the way it should be. Here’s to cheering only for the home team at Nationals Park.


Let Teddy Win!
#1: Racing Presidents (What Else?). I started this site because the racing presidents are the first truly unique hometown tradition that we can call our own. They are great fun, and give kids of all ages another reason to become Nationals fans.

I was incredibly pleased to find that the team has made them a huge part of the fan experience at Nationals Park. The presidents race itself has been expanded, plus Teddy, George, Tom, and Abe greeted us at the centerfield gates and reappeared near the kids zone after the 4th inning. The Nationals had no idea how big the racing presidents could be when they were first created, but it’s equally clear that they are astute enough to build on this great fan tradition.

Racing Presidents Make It Back to the White House

Today our Washington Nationals racing presidents claimed their place as part of a grand Washington DC institution, the annual White House Easter Egg Roll.

Accompanied by Nationals mascot Screech, our four “Rushmore” presidents George, Tom, Abe, and Teddy made it back to the White House to entertain and pose for photos with children who had come to participate in this age-old Washington, DC tradition.

More impressive still is the observation that the Let Teddy Win movement has reached the highest halls of power. As reported over at Nats 320, the racing presidents appeared early Monday morning and were greeting on the White House lawn by cheers of “Let Teddy Win! Let Teddy Win!” How cool is that?

President Bush is scheduled to be in attendance on Sunday night for the opening of Nationals Park. Now that he’s had a preview, let’s hope he’s caught on and joins the cheers for Teddy Roosevelt when the 4th inning comes around.

Flickr photo by Archie Cubarrubia

Presidents Race Auditions – When Else? Presidents Day!

Geico Racing PresidentsThe Washington Nationals have selected 50 finalists from the 120 applicants they received to become one of the 12-foot-tall racing presidents for the 2008 season.

The presidents race finalists have been invited to the new Nationals Park for auditions on Monday, February 18. Presidents Day, of course.

The finalists will be asked to demonstrate their ability to run the presidents race, dance, and celebrate while wearing a 45 pound costume.

Hoping to get some photos to share.

You can be in the presidents race

Presidents RaceHave you ever wanted to don the Teddy Roosevelt costume and race in the Washington Nationals presidents race? The Washington Nationals Mascot Coordinator is now soliciting applications via the team’s web site.

Applicants must be between 5’7″ and 6’6″ in height, able to run 100 yards wearing a 45 pound costume, and available for “at least” half the Washington Nationals home games. That’s 41 games plus playoffs (Ha! We can dream, right?).

Teddy wannabes should note that you don’t always get to be Teddy. The roles rotate between the staff, so all you lovable losers must also be able to demonstrate the brains of Tom and the honesty of George and Abe, from time to time.

Flickr photo by Scott Ableman.

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