Teddy Roosevelt learns you can’t run and Tweet at the same time

Nationals Ignite Your Natitude TweetupWashington Nationals racing president Teddy Roosevelt participates in the Nats tweetupWashington Nationals racing president Teddy Roosevelt participates in the Nats tweetupWashington Nationals racing president Teddy Roosevelt participates in the Nats tweetupWashington Nationals Racing Presidents Vote for Bryce HarperJackson Fleischauer and Corbin Haviland hold the presidents race finish lineThe Nationals celebrated the first “Ignite Your Natitude Tweetup” at Nationals Park Tuesday night, as the team kicked off its final homestand before the All Star break.

Among the near-sellout crowd were over 700 Twitter users who RSVP’d to the event, filling section 140 and collectively doing their part to bring local cellular networks to their knees.

Participants who registered in advance via Twitter were treated to a variety of surprise gifts and experiences, from posters to t-shirts to opportunities to leave their seats and rub elbows with Stephen Strasburg and yes, Teddy Roosevelt.

The 26th president participated by tweeting before and after the 4th-inning race, and by posing with tweetup participants afterwards.

Unfortunately, Teddy tried to tweet during the race as well.

When the gates opened, TR emerged carrying an oversized Curly W cell phone.  He surged ahead to a huge lead, which he held into the home stretch.

But then he tried tweeting.

Fans following @Teddy26Nats saw Teddy’s tweet as he approached the finish line looking at his phone:

This is it, I’m soo close! I’m winnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn

And with that, the Hero of San Juan Hill tripped and executed a face plant along the first base line.  Abe stole the win.

The team continues to use the racing presidents to promote All Star voting, and Tuesday night enlisted the Rushmore Four to hold signs up after the race imploring fans to use hashtag #BryceIn12 and cast their vote for Bryce Harper in the MLB “Final Vote” contest.

The effort to get out the vote has certainly had an impact on young Nats fans Jackson Fleischauer and Corbin Haviland, who won the opportunity to hold Tuesday night’s presidents race finish line. All they had to do was fill in 10,000 paper All Star ballots.

Yes, ten thousand. Congrats Jackson and Corbin. Well deserved!

Finish line video below, but first, Bob Carpenter’s call (he was a bit confused):

Finish line video courtesy of YouTube member lfahome

Rain hampers NatsFest, threatens opening day

A steady afternoon rain and temperatures in the 40s put a damper on the first-ever springtime NatsFest on Wednesday at Nationals Park, as many of the planned outdoor activities were moved, postponed, or canceled altogether.

An open batting practice had been billed as the main afternoon attraction,
Washington Nationals mascot Screech the Eagle at NatsFestbut the field remained covered for most of the day, leaving Nationals mascot Screech to pray for the sun to come out, and fans to wait until evening for meet-and-greet opportunities.

Fans were still invited to enter a raffle for a chance to race against the GEICO racing presidents, but the announcement of the winners was postponed, as was the race itself.
Washington Nationals players greet fans at NatsFest
Unlike previous years, there were no opportunities for fans to request autographs, but the change made for shorter lines and a much faster-moving meet-and-greet opportunity with nearly every opening day starter, plus a few players brought up from Florida for the event, including pitcher Stephen Strasburg and future stars Bryce Washington Nationals pitcher Stephen Strasburg greets fans at NatsFest
Harper and Derrick Norris.

The forecast calls for a 70% chance of rain for Thursday’s season opener at Nationals Park. A team spokesman said that they would consider moving the game to Friday afternoon, but will not make that call until Thursday morning.

A crazy night of milestones for the Nats and the presidents

Was it the moon?

The beautiful bright moon that hovered over the Nationals Park scoreboard wasn’t officially full, but what other explanation could there be for the 4 1/2-hour spectacle that unfolded Thursday night.

The night that had it all started with an awesome display by one young superstar-to-be and ended with a burst bubble about another.

In between, the game that saw 43 players pound out 30 hits over 13 innings was overflowing with personal drama.

Take your pick: Jordan Zimmerman’s return from Tommy John surgery, the roughing up of St. Louis Cardinals ace Chris Carpenter, Albert Pujols hitting his 400th career home run, then twisting his ankle in extra innings, Drew Storen blowing his first save, Roger Bernadina hitting his first home run at Nationals Park to tie the game in the 9th, Ian Desmond’s walk-off RBI in the 13th inning…

As if on queue, the Nationals racing presidents were prepared to match the drama step by step with a few oddities and milestones of their own.

In his 4th appearance this season, Teddy Roosevelt’s longtime nemesis “That Cat” appeared along the first baseline, dancing about in front of the stands during the 4th-inning presidents race.

Teddy jumped out to a big lead in the race, but when he spotted the panther, he veered off course to pummel him into the stands.

Thomas Jefferson took the tape.

As the game advanced into the night and the crowd thinned, the Bull Moose took to the stands to entertain the crowd.

In the 12th inning, Teddy parked in centerfield section 101, posing for photos with fans. When he was still there at the top of the 13th, we knew trouble was in store.

For the seventh time in presidents race history, the Nationals took a home game into the 13th inning, leading to that rare treat for presidents race fans:
a second official race of the night.

Apparently Teddy didn’t get the memo.

When Washington, Jefferson, and Lincoln burst out of the centerfield starting gate, Teddy was still hanging out with fans in the stands. He jumped up from his seat and raced around the concourse, but didn’t make it to the field in time to compete.

In another milestone, George, Tom,
and Abe crossed the finish line in a dead heat. The race was too close to
call, and Screech awarded a first-ever
presidents race tie to Tom and Abe.

Here are two great videos courtesy of YouTube member lfahome, including a great capture of Teddy’s encounter with That Cat!

Nats release half-price coupon code for Stephen Strasburg’s return

The Washington Nationals have released a coupon code “for Teddy’s fans” for this week’s series vs. the Florida Marlins, including Tuesday night’s much-anticipated return of Stephen Strasburg to the Nationals Park mound.

The code gets you half-price tickets in the outfield corners ($17), outfield mezzanine ($14), and upper infield gallery ($8). You must order at Nationals.com using Coupon Code “TEDDY”.

As always, 400 Grandstand-level seats (Section 401/402) will be available for $5.00 each at the gate before the game. No coupon required.

On a historic night, Teddy fails to make history of his own

Strasburg's First Major League PitchIt’s safe to say that the Washington Nationals presidents race was not the main event Tuesday at Nationals Park. The mood was absolutely electric as 40,315 came to witness the major league debut of Stephen Strasburg, and despite hype and expectations that seemed impossible to meet, the rookie managed to exceed them, posting one of the greatest pitching debuts in major league history.

Expectations were high for Teddy Roosevelt as well, as many in the crowd expressed their hope that the Bull Moose would do his part to help mark the dawn of a new Nationals era with a 4th-inning victory.

The Nationals pulled out all the stops when the race began, as the “Un-racing sausages” (the Nationals’ parodies of Milwaukee’s famous racing mascots) jumped out of the gate to start the presidents race. The four presidents followed, tailed by Pittsburgh’s own racing pierogies, and a couple of secret service agents on Segways, creating a very crowded field.

Thomas Jefferson and Teddy Roosevelt broke away from the crowded pack early, along with racing sausage Choriz-No. Then Teddy put on a burst of speed, sending the packed house into a frenzy.

That’s when pierogie Cheese Chester appeared along the first base line. It was a familiar site to presidents race fans, and a Teddy ambush looked inevitable.

Chester took a running start as the racers entered the home stretch, but instead of tackling Teddy, Chester ran between the two presidents and put a full-on body slam on Choriz-no.

That left nothing but daylight between Teddy and his first-ever presidents race victory; but in a race to the finish, Teddy ran out of steam, and Thomas Jefferson passed him on the inside to capture the win.

As Tom celebrated, and boos rained down from the sellout crowd, Teddy could do nothing but bend over in shame.

More photos from Tuesday

Video courtesy of YouTube member lfahome.

Nationals invite standing room crowd — and Pierogies — to Strasburg’s debut

As the hype for pitcher Stephen Strasburg’s debut reaches a fever pitch, with media coverage rivaling a league championship series, the Washington Nationals are releasing additional $10 standing room only tickets via the stadium box office this afternoon, ensuring an all-time Nationals Park attendance record will be set tonight.

Pittsurgh's Racing Pierogies at Nationals ParkWith the stands overflowing and the auxiliary press box bursting at the seams, the Nats have still found room to invite a handful of additional non-paying guests — Pittsburgh’s Racing Pierogies — who will no-doubt make an appearance during the 4th-inning presidents race for the 3-game homestand.

A pierogies appearance at Nationals Park was not a foregone conclusion given what happened on their last trip to DC. Just one year ago, in the series finale, the Pittsburgh mascots apparently went off-script, tricking the presidents and winning a race at Nationals Park, the only time no president was declared a winner.

Later in the season, in a relay race at Pittsburgh’s PNC Park, racing pierogie Potato Pete ran onto the field from the stands and delivered a crushing open-field tackle on Teddy Roosevelt, a take-down that ESPN SportsCenter anchor Scott Van Pelt called “the greatest highlight I’ve ever seen.”

Some have speculated that tonight could be Teddy’s big night. In an evening sure to be filled with memorable highlights, let’s hope the Pierogies don’t play the spoiler.

Flickr photo by afagen

Will the Nationals Let Teddy Win on Strasmas Day?

DC sports fans are gearing up for the most hyped debut in Washington sports history, as fans have dubbed Tuesday Strasmas Day in anticipation of the major league debut of pitcher Stephen Strasburg, aka Baseball Jeezus.

With the team expected to choose hitting phenom Bryce Harper today with the #1 pick in baseball’s amateur draft, Nats fans see this week as a symbolic turning point in the short history of the franchise.

The Nationals are surely eager to send the message that a new era has arrived. With a record sellout crowd expected, and every major national media outlet on hand, what better opportunity could the Nats have to let Teddy win? It seems a wise move, both to send a signal to the fans, and to avoid risking a chorus of 41,000 boos during their moment in the spotlight.

Here’s hoping history is made on the warning track as well as the pitcher’s mound.

One character who clearly hopes to prevent it is Abe Lincoln. The all-time presidents race victory leader has set aside his dirty tricks and gone on a tear, earning his 5th consecutive come-from-behind victory Sunday at Nationals Park. Teddy’s eyeglasses fell off his nose, but he gutted it out and finished the race blind. We’re hoping he manages to get them fixed on his off day today. The racing presidents were sporting their traditional period garb for just the second time this season.

Video courtesy of YouTube member lfahome

Teddy fails to deliver for 33,774 at Nationals Park

A hot and sticky Nationals Park was packed with fans Friday night as Livan Hernandez and the Nats defeated the the Cincinnati Reds. As well as Livan’s been pitching, the crowd would like have been much smaller had it been known he’d be on the mound when tickets went on sale…

No. Many of the 33,774 in attendance Friday purchased their tickets in anticipation of Stephen Strasburg’s major league debut, which was ultimately pushed to next week. Many of our readers have expressed their hope to see a Teddy Victory when Stephen Strasburg makes his first start at Nationals Park, and perhaps for them, the question was whether Teddy would double the disappointment, or give the big crowd the “I was there” moment they’d hoped for.

Roosevelt came out of the gate fast, and maintained his lead across the outfield warning track, but the Rough Rider faded fast at the turn, as Abe and Tom sprinted past him to the finish.

Lincoln’s third consecutive come-from-behind victory vaulted the Great Emancipator to the top of the standings for the first time since April.

[i]Video courtesy of YouTube member lfahome[/i]

Half-price Coupon Code “for Teddy’s Fans” to see Stephen Strasburg Debut. GOING FAST.

The Washington Nationals announced this evening that 2009 #1 draft pick Stephen Strasburg will make his highly-anticipated major league debut on June 8th at Nationals Park. The team had just released a coupon code “for Teddy’s fans” to use during that week’s series vs. the Pittsburgh Pirates.

This evening, some tickets are still available at half price in the outfield corners ($18) and outfield mezzanine ($15). Order at Nationals.com using Coupon Code “TEDDY”.

Good luck.

Strasburg Nationals debut tickets sold out9:30pm UPDATE:
Only singles left now, but lower bowl seats still available at $18 with coupon.

10:15pm UPDATE:
Sold out.

Congrats to those who got in.

As always, 400 Grandstand-level seats (Section 401/402) will be available for $5.00 each at the gate before the game. No coupon required.

Racing presidents return from Syracuse

The Washington Nationals return from a 10-day road trip tonight to kick off a five game homestand at Nationals Park vs. the Mets and Orioles.

The racing presidents usually get a break while the Nats are on the road, but last week they took to Syracuse, where they held a presidents race during the 5th inning of Stephen Strasburg’s first start for the Syracuse Chiefs. It looked for a time as if Teddy would take the exhibition, but Thomas Jefferson passed him as they raced along the 3rd baseline at Alliance Bank Stadium.

For the two games starting tonight vs. the Mets, the Nationals have released a coupon code for Teddy’s friends: Order at Nationals.com using Coupon Code “TEDDY” (all caps) and get up to 35% off tickets in select seating sections. The coupon is valid for online orders only.

Video by YouTube member rscuse34

Presidents to race during Stephen Strasburg’s start in Syracuse Wednesday night

The Washington Nationals’ racing presidents will take their show on the road Wednesday for Stephen Strasburg’s second start with the AAA Syracuse Chiefs.

George, Tom, Abe, and Teddy will greet fans at the main gates of Alliance Bank Stadium, then run a presidents race following the 5th inning of the game vs. Norfolk. Nationals Mascot and race judge Screech will also make the trip.

Nats Entertainment Coordinator Tom Davis noted that “sending the Racing Presidents up to Syracuse for a night is another way to let Chiefs fans experience Nationals baseball.”

The game will be carried locally in DC on tape delay by MASN at approximately 10:30pm.

Photo courtesy of Flickr user dougtone

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