Teddy tricks fellow racing presidents, wins home opener, leading FP to predict a Teddy season sweep.

Racing Presidents Wheel of FortuneRacing President Teddy Roosevelt wins Washington Nationals Presidents RaceTeddy Roosevelt Championship BeltFor the first time ever, Teddy Roosevelt is in first place.

Washington Nationals racing president Teddy Roosevelt showed up prepared for Friday’s home opener at Nationals Park. The 26th president had planted a wheel of fortune along the warning track, and as his fellow presidents emerged from the center field gate, Teddy stopped them with a wave towards the wheel, suggesting that each president had to spin the wheel before running.

But as George, Tom, Abe, and Bill lined up to take a spin, Teddy turned and darted for the finish line uncontested.

With one victory, Teddy has tasted rare air: First place in the presidents race standings. Teddy spend the rest of the day parading around Nationals Park carrying a championship belt.

On the local TV broadcast, Nationals color commentator FP Santangelo saw Teddy’s opening day victory as a sign of great things to come for the Bull Moose.

“I got a call right now,” FP said. “Teddy’s going to win every race all year. 81 wins.”

Now that would be amazing.

UPDATE: Here’s the video

Video courtesy of lfahome

Video: Trick or Treating with Teddy Roosevelt

Teddy Roosevelt learned Thursday that Halloween is the one night of the year when a ten foot tall president at your door doesn’t surprise anybody.

Teddy Roosevelt Goes Trick or TreatingThe Rough Rider went trick or treating on Thursday night, accompanying young Nats fan Jake Lang and friends through Lang’s Potomac, Maryland neighborhood.

With a little help from Twitter, Lang’s Bryce Harper costume had won the fan vote in the Nationals’ Pic or Treat Halloween Costume Contest, with Teddy as the prize.

“We were far behind in the voting,” said Lang, “then I tweeted Bryce and his sister and they helped. I tweeted Holden on the radio and he helped. My family tweeted and put it on Facebook and my friends voted a lot.”

Teddy kept the spirits high despite a steady rain and a failure by most neighbors to recognize him. Watch as one after another fails to recognize the racing president, until he finally barges in on some Nats fans.

“It was so cool trick or treating with Teddy,” Jake added. I had a great time.”

Video: Teddy wins, meets the Nats in 3rd place

Teddy Roosevelt wins Washington Nationals Presidents RaceTeddy Roosevelt wins Washington Nationals Presidents Race Nationals ParkConsecutive rainouts gave the Washington Nationals an opportunity to rest and reset for Saturday’s series opener vs. the Minnesota Twins, but an extra-innings loss ruined the day for the sellout Nationals Park crowd of 41,587, pushing the team two games below .500 for the first time this season.

In the fourth inning presidents race, Teddy Roosevelt got a late start out of the center field starting gate, but a steady stride pulled him past his Rushmore competitors as they circled the warning track. The Rough Rider pulled away at the finish for his third victory of the 2013 season.

Teddy, like the Nationals, moved into sole possession of third place in the standings.

Video courtesy of YouTube member lfahome

Taft Gains on Teddy in race to Mt. Rushmore

Racing president Teddy Roosevelt reaches IllinoisRacing President William Howard Taft reaches IllinoisRacing president William Howard Taft gained ground on Teddy Roosevelt late Friday evening as they both crossed the Illinois line after just one day of their race to Mt. Rushmore.

The Big Chief followed Teddy in tweeting from the border just before sunset, nearly 700 miles from the day’s starting point.

In a Nationals-sponsored Twitter contest, fans have been asked to use the hashtags #VoteBill or #VoteTeddy to show support for either Taft or Roosevelt. Teddy shot out to an early lead, but voting has been light, meaning a Taft comeback isn’t out of the question.

Given that one randomly selected user of each hashtag will win a private mascot appearance with that racing president, a vote for Taft right now is
carrying pretty nice odds.

Teddy Roosevelt speech spurs Nationals to Game 4 victory

Mark DeRosa Man in the ArenaFollowers of this blog are familiar with Teddy Roosevelt’s famous “Man in the Arena” speech, in which Roosevelt praised the virtue of those who strive for greatness even in the face of failure. Arizona Senator John McCain read from the speech in a recent ESPN profile of the Let Teddy Win movement, and quotes from the speech have long been available on our t-shirts.

On Thursday night, the Nationals faced elimination in the National League Division Series playoffs, and so veteran infielder Mark DeRosa chose the occasion to read Teddy’s words to the team before the game.

DeRosa, the only member of the Nationals with an Ivy League degree, told reporters that he reads the speech to himself before big games, but this was the first time he read it out loud.

“I wanted to say something that brought the whole team together, a band of brothers,” DeRosa said.

“With our backs against the wall, I wanted to say something that brought us together, a little band of brothers to go out and fight and see what happens,” he told The Post later. “I feel that was fitting.”

“Epic,” Drew Storen added. “The stuff movies are made of.”

So you don’t have to look it up, here it is:

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

Teddy Wins His First Presidents Race on Historic Day at Nationals Park (Videos, Photos, & More)

Teddy Roosevelt wins the presidents race
Let Teddy Win Poll - When will Teddy winTeddy Roosevelt Pep Talk Video from Nationals ParkTeddy Roosevelt Golden Shoes video Nationals Park scoreboardTeddy Roosevelt scoreboard video: Teddy gets his Golden ShoesNationals Presidents race Teddy Wins October 3 2012 - Starting gateTeddy Wins the presidents race vs the fake Philly PhanaticTeddy Roosevelt Wins his first Nationals Presidents Race - October 3, 2012Teddy Roosevelt October Playoff NatitudeA near-capacity house of 37,075 filled Nationals Park Wednesday afternoon with two things in mind: A record 98th win for the Nationals, and a record first win for racing president Teddy Roosevelt.

Rumors had swirled that today would be the day for Teddy to break his epic streak — rumors fed by the team’s own “Teddy in 2012″ theme that dominated the final series vs. the Phillies.

A Let Teddy Win reader poll showed fans were expecting nothing less, with 39% expecting Wednesday to be the day.

The Nats, in fact, played it out to such a degree that anything short of a win for the Rough Rider might have sparked a riot. Videos played on the HD scoreboard for the series showed Teddy training with the U.S. Army, getting pep talks from WWE wrestler John Cena, and working out at the Under Armour training facility in preparation for Wednesday’s Fan Appreciation Day.

The movement turned out in vast numbers, with with “Let Teddy Win” t-shirts and homemade signs dotting the stands, and Twitter abuzz before the game with rumors that turned out to be true, but not before one final tease.

In the third inning, the HD scoreboard lit up with a video pep talk for Teddy by Nationals players Kurt Suzuki, Craig Stammen, Mike Morse, Drew Storen, coach Bo Porter, and GM Mike Rizzo.

“Time to turn it up,” Rizzo said. ” It’s playoff time. Now get it going, and finish strong.”

“There’s still time to save the season,” added Storen. “We need you Teddy.”

Teddy then was presented with a glowing pair of Usain Bolt-style golden Under Armour sneakers.

When the fourth inning race began, Teddy came out wearing his new sneakers, but trailed the pack by a significant margin. Then, as Washington, Jefferson, and Lincoln approached the outfield corner, a character resembling the Phillie Phanatic mascot appeared from the bullpen.

The “Fake-natic” proceeded to take out Honest Abe and the Founding Fathers single-handedly, despite losing his fake nose in the process.

That left only Teddy Roosevelt on his feet. As he and the Fake-Natic turned the corner together, the crowd went wild with the knowledge that Nationals brass would never have allowed Teddy to be defeated by such an unsavory foe with the Phillies watching from the visitor’s dugout.

The Fake-natic bowed out quickly, leaving the Rough Rider with a clear path to victory, as fans along the first base line chanted “Teddy, Teddy, Teddy” in celebration.

The Hero of San Juan Hill, victorious for the first time after seven long years and 525 races, posed for the crowd, displaying an October Playoff Natitude t-shirt beneath his jersey.

Twitter exploded with the news, and within minutes it was a national story, with articles appearing on sites as diverse as Sports Illustrated, The Sporting News, The New York Times, ABC News, The Wall Street Journal, The Huffington Post, every local news outlet, and multiple stories by The Washington Post including the intrepid DC Sports Bog.

Turns out the Post even had an infographic prepared for the event, based on a recent interview with this blog.

In the at-bats immediately following Teddy’s victory, Ryan Zimmerman hit a home run, Michael Morse doubled, and Tyler Moore doubled to score Morse. Coincidence?

Below is the team’s official race video, capturing Nationals Park P.A. announcer Jerome Hruska’s live call from the ball park:

This fan video by Ryan Eades captures the euphoria of fans behind the Nats dugout:

Here’s Teddy getting his golden shoes:

And here’s Teddy’s pre-game workout with Under Armour:

Finally, our finish line video from stalwart contributor lfahome:

Video: Teddy Roosevelt races at All Star Game Home Run Derby, clobbers Milwaukee sausage

Teddy Roosevelt race at the All Star Game HR DerbyTeddy Roosevelt race at the All Star Game HR DerbyTeddy Roosevelt race at the All Star Game HR DerbyTeddy Roosevelt race at the All Star Game HR Derby
Great Mascot Race at the All Star Game - Teddy Roosevelt Milwaukee Sausage and RelishMajor League baseball hosted an all star “Great Mascott Race” at Monday night’s Home Run Derby in Kansas City.

Among the racing mascots who passed the baton in the relay race were Nolan Ryan (Rangers Legends of Texas Race) vs. Bob the Shark (Marlins Great Sea Race), Onion (Indians Hot Dog Derby) vs. Aquafina (Rays Bottle Race), and Randy Johnson (Arizona Legends Race) vs. Relish (Royals Hot Dog Derby).

Finally, running anchor for their respective teams, were the Washington Nationals’ own racing president Teddy Roosevelt (wearing his road grays) vs. Bratwurst of the famous Milwaukee Racing Sausages.

After being handed a big lead by teammate Randy Johnson, Teddy Roosevelt had his rival sausage beaten on the anchor leg, but stopped just short of the finish line and turned to face a more tempting target.

Teddy flattened the advancing Bratwurst, drawing cheers from the 38,000 screaming fans at Kaufman Stadium, but alas, as Teddy stood over his victim in triumph, Relish knocked down Teddy.

Bratwurst got up, stumbled over the finish line, and was declared the winner.

Thanks to @gordonmack for the quick video, and to espnW’s intrepid Amanda Rykoff for sending these terrific photos instead of sleeping.

Any other videos out there? Let me know.

UPDATE: Full video from Kaufman Stadium


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

What happened to Teddy Roosevelt’s glasses?

Presidents Race Teddy Roosevelt Blindfolded on a motorcycleRacing President Teddy Roosevelt No GlassesWashington Nationals Presidents Race Nationals ParkLast Saturday at Nationals Park, the racing presidents held a rare second presidents race as the Nationals and Yankees extended past the 13th inning.  Teddy Roosevelt drew attention for competing in both races aboard a motorcycle, overshadowing the fact that he came out blindfolded for the second race.

It’s now clear why. Apparently something happened to Teddy’s glasses between those races.

The next day, Roosevelt raced without the blindfold, revealing that his glasses were missing and leading some on Twitter to speculate whether the Hero of San Juan Hill had received laser eye surgery to help him take victory at Nationals Park.

Judging by the subsequent race results, he did not.

On both Tuesday and Wednesday, still sans glasses, Teddy faded and finished last, losing to Abraham Lincoln and George Washington, respectively.

Requests to the Nationals for an explanation have gone without comment, but we’ll keep trying to get to the bottom of this.

Video: Pittsburgh’s Potato Pete returns. Teddy Roosevelt vows revenge. This could be fun.

It’s been nearly three years since retired racing pierogie Potato Pete leveled Teddy Roosevelt at PNC Park.  The 2009 incident that wouldn’t die was celebrated on ESPN’s Sportscenter and nominated for a “This Year in Baseball Award”. With Potato Pete officially retired, our favorite racing president never got a shot at revenge.

Racing presidents  Teddy Roosevelt sees Potato Pete pierogies Nationals ParkRacing presidents  Teddy Roosevelt sees Potato Pete pierogies Nationals ParkRacing presidents  Teddy Roosevelt sees Potato Pete pierogies Nationals ParkFor TR, the wound obviously remains as fresh as ever, because when Potato Pete made a surprise appearance Wednesday night at Nationals Park, Teddy stopped dead in his tracks.

The Four current Racing Pierogies started the evening running an extra-long relay race from the left field bullpen, with Abraham Lincoln and Thomas Jefferson taking the first leg against Oliver Onion and Jalapeño Hannah.

After a questionable tag from Abe Lincoln in center field, Teddy got a big jump on the second leg, but stopped in his tracks when Potato Pete appeared in the stands by section 134.

Teddy and Pete began sparring, and even took their scuffle into the stands as George Washington raced by for the win.

After the race, Teddy tweeted Ohhh, I see Potato Pete has come out of retirement and on MY home turf!? I haven’t forgotten what happened in 09! Tomorrow Pete, it’s ON!”

It sound like a grudge match is in the works for Thursday’s series finale. This could be fun.

Video courtesy of YouTube member lfahome

Nationals trot out “classic” presidents for Harper’s debut

Washington Nationals racing presidents begin the presidents race at Nationals ParkPresidents Race runs left George Washington Wins photo by Cheryl NicholsPresidents Race Teddy Roosevelt Loses with bulging pantsNationals Park was buzzing Tuesday night as the hometown fans got their first glimpse of rookie sensation Bryce Harper.

Harper is already beloved for his throwback-style approach to the game, and perhaps in appreciation, the Nationals brought back the “classic” racing presidents to kick off the homestand.  It was their first appearance of the season, and with luck they’re back to stay.

For those who hoped Harper’s debut might be an excuse for the team to finally let Teddy win, the fourth-inning festivities were yet another cause for disappointment.

The presidents ran left for the third time this season, moving the finish line to the third base side.  Teddy had an early lead, but may have been slowed by his bulging belly, which seemed to drop lower and lower as the race progressed.

George Washington put on a burst of speed to take the victory and move past Abe Lincoln in the season standings.

Finish line photos courtesy Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page

Video: Racing presidents grace Washington Ballet’s The Nutcracker despite backstage “diva fit” by Teddy

For your enjoyment this Christmas weekend, the Washington Nationals released a behind-the-scenes video from the racing presidents’ guest appearance earlier this month in The Washington Ballet’s production of The Nutcracker at the Warner Theatre.

The Nationals Racing Presidents appear in The Washington Ballet production of The Nutcracker - by Theo Kossenas PhotographyThe clip features an interview with director Septime Webre, who praises Thomas Jefferson for his “confident, nuanced artistry,” George Washington for his “virtuosic high kicks,” and Teddy Roosevelt for his “sophisticated” port de bras, but when pressed, he confessed that the hero of San Juan Hill was the most difficult to work with.

“Teddy did throw a diva fit at a moment during rehearsal,” said Webre, “but I had to put him in line.”

Photo by Theo Kossenas Photography via the Curly W Blog

Video: Teddy turns on the racing presidents, and regrets it

It’s that time of the season, when, with only a handful of home games left, the race to the finish makes the competition desperate.

Racing President Teddy Roosevelt Knocks Out his fellow racing presidentsNationals presidents race pile upStephen LombardozziSuch was the case Saturday night at Nationals Park, when Teddy Roosevelt, still searching for win #1 in the Nationals’ presidents race, turned on the competition, trapping them in a pack against the outfield scoreboard and slamming them to the ground.

Unfortunately for Teddy, he didn’t knock them out.

After Washington, Jefferson, and Lincoln hit the ground, they jumped back to their feet and chased down the Rough Rider, piling on en mass.

Teddy never recovered, and Thomas Jefferson took the tape to keep his hopes alive in the 2011 presidents race standings.

The National’s continued their tradition of embracing social media by hosting a group of bloggers on Saturday, as we were given the opportunity to meet September call-ups Brad Peacock, Chris Marrero, and Stephen Lombardozzi, as well as skipper Davey Johnson and members of the Nationals staff including Director of Minor League Operations Mark Scialabba and Sr. Director of Community Relations Israel Negron, who shared his enthusiasm over the team’s newly-announced sponsorship of the Washington Nationals Wounded Warrior Softball Team.

For the record, Lombardozzi joins the ranks of players who’ve thrown their support behind the Let Teddy Win movement, noting that he’s come to Nationals Park in previous seasons to sit in the stands. “I hope he wins,” Lombardozzi said. “I’m hoping he gets
a ‘W’ before the end of the season.”

Yes, when September call-ups arrive, hope springs anew.

Video courtesy of YouTube member lfahome

After high expectations are dashed, even Abe Lincoln implores the Nationals to Let Teddy Win

Washington Nationals Presidents Race 5-30-2011Abe Wins.  Teddy far behind.Abe Lincoln supports Teddy?The “Let Teddy Win” buzz hit a fever pitch on Memorial Day at Nationals Park, with rumors spreading rampant that after high-level meetings in the Nats’ front office, a decision had been made to finally let Teddy win.

From the stands to the press box, from Twitter to even the Phillies’ TV and radio broadcasts, word was spreading to watch for a breakout race from Teddy Roosevelt.

Even outspoken outfielder Jayson Werth, who had refused to watch Sunday’s race, stepped out of the dugout and onto the field to see the big event.

Fans and reporters alike approached to say they had come not to see Roy Halladay and the Phillies, but to see Teddy take victory #1. Yes, everybody got the message.

Except Teddy.

In possibly the most disappointing performance in five years, Teddy ran wire to wire in last place, and failed to even finish.

Even showboat Abe Lincoln, after taking his 13th victory of the season, grabbed a Let Teddy Win sign from the crowd and held it up in support.

Nats management clearly doesn’t buy into the notion that Teddy must win to break the curse that keeps their team in the basement; but after roughing up Phillies ace Roy Halladay only to end up on the losing end of another 1-run game, why continue to tempt fate?

Video courtesy of YouTube member lfahome

Santangelo guarantees Memorial Day victory for Teddy

It appears that Jayson Werth may have lit a fire under Teddy and the Nationals.

Washington Nationals Presidents Race 5-29-11Werth’s call for Nats management to let Teddy Win drew the attention of NBC 4 and The Washington Post yesterday, in addition to a slew of online chatter; so all eyes were on Teddy at the start of Sunday’s race at Nationals Park.

Roosevelt had an unusually strong start, and surged mid-way through the race to take the lead into the home stretch. Rather than fade as usual, Teddy kept his momentum, but was passed by George Washington at the wire.

Werth did not come out of the dugout to watch.

In the wake of Werth’s public criticism, Teddy’s tweets included “Jayson I’m trying!,” and “Sooo close I could taste it today!! I’ve gotta good feeling about tomorrow.”

Meanwhile, on MASN’s TV broadcast, color commentator F. P. Santangelo upped the ante. “Teddy’s going to win tomorrow,” he declared after today’s race. “That’s my call, and I’m sticking to it.” He repeated the prediction later in the broadcast.

With Roy Halladay scheduled to take the mound for the Phillies Monday, Nats fans may need something to celebrate.

Video courtesy of YouTube member lfahome

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