“That Cat” adds to a night of Nationals Park oddities

On a night that featured both a triple play and an inside-the-park home run, oddities seemed to be the order of the day on Wednesday as the Nats returned to Nationals Park to kick off a homestand vs. the New York Mets.

That Cat tackles Abe Lincoln, photo by Tom BridgeOff the field, TV chef and cookbook author Paula Deen offered to cook Nationals mascot Screech before throwing out the first pitch, and the racing presidents ran a rare relay race; but fans of the presidents know that when it’s time to kick things up a notch in the oddities department, nothing tops an appearance by “That Cat”.

The man-sized panther, who last appeared during an exhibition game in April, showed up to once again disrupt the presidents’ rhythm, this time as Abe Lincoln & Teddy Roosevelt formed a relay team vs. George Washington and Thomas Jefferson.

In the 4th-inning race, Teddy started out strong and handed the lead to Lincoln, running anchor. Abe looked like a sure winner, but he was ambushed by That Cat, who lept from the stands along the first base line to make a flying tackle.

George, running anchor for Tom, high-stepped to an easy victory.

Photos by flickr member tbridge.

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”:

Pittsburgh’s Pierogies run relays vs. Nationals Presidents

The pierogies from Pittsburgh's great pierogie race take on the Washington Nationals racing presidents at Nationals ParkThe Pittsburgh Pirates racing pierogies continued their 4-game visit to Nationals Park with a set of relay races against the Washington Nationals racing presidents. Last night’s game featured a traditional baton relay, with Tom and George pacing the field over sets of hurdles placed along the warning track.

Tonight, the teams were switched, as each racing president was paired with one of the Pittsburgh pierogies in a comical and painfully slow 3-legged race. Teddy and Sauerkraut Saul pulled into the lead before tripping and falling along the first base line. Pittsburgh favorite JalapeƱo Hannah was tied to Abe Lincoln and positioned to take the lead when Teddy and Saul collapsed.

Photo courtesy of flickr member afagen
Videos courtesy of Mike Hill and YouTube member lfahome

Racing Presidents Run Hurdles to Honor Olympics

Teddy Roosevelt hurdles in Sunday's Olympic-inspired Washington Nationals Presidents RaceIn their last home game to be played during these 2008 Olympics, the Washington Nationals pulled out all the stops to stage an Olympics-inspired presidents race during the fourth inning Sunday at Nationals Park.

If Saturday night’s race-walk didn’t impress you, then the sight of our favorite 10-foot tall racing presidents jumping over hurdles certainly had to. That’s right — hurdles.

In a scene reminiscent of a previous Olympiad, Abe Lincoln, who has whipped the competition this season, emerged during the race introductions wearing Michael Johnson-inspired gold running shoes. Teddy Roosevelt and Abe Lincoln each ran the anchor leg of a hurdle relay which was confined to the outfield. Abe beat Teddy to the finish, and was declared the winner along with teammate George Washington. This is the first time a joint victory has been awarded in presidents race history.

I hope at least one of you readers captured this memorable spectacle on video.

Photo courtesy of flickr member Liliang

%d bloggers like this: