“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.

Nationals racing presidents have a message for moms

Screech and Screech's Mom by Luis AlbisuOn a beautiful Mothers Day afternoon, the Washington Nationals pulled off another nail biter at Nationals Park, completing another winning homestand and taking the series from the Florida Marlins, three games to two.

Moms were honored both before and throughout the game, and the 4th-inning presidents race was no exception.

Nats mascot and presidents race judge Screech wore a pink cap and brought his mom onto the field to help out.

Momma Screech wore a pink dress and lots of lipstick. It was reported to be her first visit to Nationals Park, but to long-time Nationals fans, she looked suspiciously familiar.

Washington Nationals Racing Presidents Mothers Day message - Nationals ParkThe presidents ran a tight race in which George Washington held off Abe to end the homestand with a 1-race lead over Lincoln. After the race, the presidents all held up signs for the scoreboard camera operators, reading “Happy Mothers Day Moms.”

Aww….

Photo and video courtesy of YouTube member TheTeddyRoosevelt

12 mascots can’t stop the racing presidents

The Nationals celebrated mascot Screech’s 5th birthday today at Nationals Park with a 1-0 victory vs. the Los Angeles Dodgers behind a stellar pitching performance by Scott Olson.

Eleven of Screech’s mascot friends were on hand for the celebration, including Slapshot, Talon, Pax, Gunston, Glory, Clawed Z. Eagle, and more. In the 4th inning, they formed a “mascot obstacle course” along the first base line, but George Washington powered through it to take today’s presidents race victory.

Thomas Jefferson followed behind, running over Maryland Terrapin mascot Testudo and knocking him to the ground.

Video courtesy of YouTube member lfahome

Nats lose. Teddy disqualified. Good thing this was an exhibition.

A huge crowd filled Nationals Park for this afternoon’s game between the Washington Nationals and Boston Red Sox. The year’s only exhibition game in DC was meant to be a final warm-up for the season that starts Monday. Nats fans were simply grateful that this one didn’t count.

With Craig Stammen spotting Boston an early lead, and Tim Wakefield shutting down the Nats on the field, the faithful looked to the 4th-inning presidents race for signs that 2010 would be different.

Instead, what transpired suggested that the conspiracy that continues to deny Teddy Roosevelt his first presidents race victory is alive and well.

Teddy had raced out to an early lead over the other presidents when That Cat, who has foiled Teddy numerous times in the past, appeared from the centerfield fence. Chasing down the presidents, the Cat tackled Abe, Tom, and George in succession, but ran into a stiff-arm from Teddy Roosevelt.

Teddy held off That Cat, pushing him to the ground just before crossing the finish line, but Screech stepped in and immediately disqualified Teddy for “unnecessary roughness.” For the first time ever, That Cat was declared the presidents race winner.

Video courtesy of YouTube member lfahome

Shop with the racing presidents this weekend

If you’re out holiday shopping this weekend, the Washington Nationals want to provide you and your littlest Nats fans a little relief.

The Nationals racing presidents will make multiple appearances at area shopping venues this weekend, along with members of the Nat Pack and mascot Screech.

Confirmed locations:

Friday
12:00pm – 3:00pm Fashion Center at Pentagon City (Metro Level)

Saturday
12:30pm – 4:30pm Dulles Town Center

Sunday
11:00am – 3:00pm White Flint Mall (Center Court, Level One)

The presidents are supplementing this schedule with unscheduled appearances around the city. Alert reader Dave Nichols also spotted Thomas Jefferson and Abe Lincoln at the Metro Center Metro stop this morning, handing out spring training info and 2010 pocket schedules.

(As for your Let Teddy Win stocking stuffers, you’ll have to shop online).

Nationals offer half-price coupon code to Teddy fans to kick off “Screech Week”

The Washington Nationals have once again released a coupon code “for Teddy’s friends”: Order online at Nationals.com using Coupon Code “TEDDY” and get half-price tickets in select seating sections for the series starting Tuesday night vs. the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Washington Nationals T-Shirt TuesdayThe coupon code is valid only for online orders and may be used to get outfield box seats, outfield corner, or mezzanine seats for $15.00 to $18.00 each.

This homestand is your last chance to cheer on the Nationals — and Teddy — in 2009, while getting a glimpse of young September call-ups including hot infielder Ian Desmond.

Tuesday night kicks off “Screech Week” with T-Shirt Tuesday, and a free Screech t-shirt for the first 10,000 fans.

The Screech theme continues with a new promotion on Sunday, September 27. The first 5,000 kids age 12 and under entering Nationals Park will receive a Build-a-Bear Workshop Screech doll — possibly the highest-value promotional item we’ve seen given away at the ball park.

Note also that $5.00 walk-up grandstand tickets have been readily available before the game for the recent series’ vs. the Marlins and Phillies. Grandstand tickets are available before the game at the Nationals ticket windows outside the Center Field Gate.

Presidents go down quickly, Teddy notches loss #250

With Garrett Mock on the mound against the San Diego Padres, the Washington Nationals and Teddy Roosevelt followed similar patterns tonight at Nationals Park, barely getting out of the gate before blowing any chance they had for victory.

Teddy quickly locked up his 250th consecutive presidents race loss when he collided with Thomas Jefferson at the starting gate, leaving only George Washington to challenge Abe Lincoln. Abe took care of things from there, knocking George to the ground to clear his path to the finish line as Screech looked on.

Is “Judge Screech” in Abe Lincoln’s pocket? He’s disqualified Teddy for far less. Why hasn’t Screech ever disqualified “Honest” Abe?

Coach Ron SimmsNote: We were thrilled to see Section 128 usher Ron “Coach” Simms back in action tonight at his familiar post. Coach reports that under Doctor’s orders, he’s not allowed to dance on top of the dugout during “Sweet Caroline” for at least a few more weeks, but he’s looking great and on the mend. Welcome back Coach!

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