Teddy imitates Nats bullpen and collapses

Washington Nationals racing president Teddy Roosevelt collapsesToday at Nationals Park, Teddy Roosevelt did a nice impression of the home team Washington Nationals, staking a big lead and giving his cheering fans much hope, only to collapse in the home stretch.

For the home team, the collapse came at the hands of the Philadelphia Phillies, who scored the game-tying and go-ahead runs on an 8th-inning fielding error by second baseman Anderson Hernandez.

Washington Nationals racing president Teddy Roosevelt collapsesThe difference with Teddy was that the collapse was literal.

After taking a seemingly insurmountable lead out of the outfield turn, Teddy hit the home stretch, stopped and keeled over.

With Teddy on his knees and members of the Nat Pack rushing to his aid, George, Tom and Abe raced by, with Abe narrowly claiming the victory.

Stan Kasten with Mayor of Nats Town Jeff and Colleen ShermanCongratulations to season ticket holders Jeff and Colleen Sherman, who were honored today as the “Mayors of Nats Town.” Jeff and Colleen (and their fabulous monkey) never miss a game in section 128, and are great friends of the Let Teddy Win blog.

A well deserved honor!

Videos courtesy of YouTube member lfahome and TheTeddyRoosevelt

Nats get first victory of the season — Not so for Teddy

On a beautiful spring night at Nationals Park, 20,000 fans witnessed a display of the Washington Nationals new power as they grabbed their first victory of the season tonight in an 8-2 drubbing of the Philadelphia Phillies.

Alas, Teddy Roosevelt did not join the Nationals in the win column.

Thomas Jefferson trips in the Washington Nationals presidents race, but is granted the victory.Unlike opening day, Teddy did participate in the presidents race from start to finish. Our #26 actually built an early lead and had a clear path to the finish line, but Abe Lincoln and Thomas Jefferson passed him in the home stretch, with Abe appearing to cross the tape first as Jefferson fell at the finish line (or was he tripped by Abe?).

The close finish was initially called for Abe, but after video review it was announced that the win was granted to Thomas Jefferson.

Photo courtesy of Flickr user philliefan99
Video by YouTube member Rockthered8

Teddy plays the spoiler on opening day at Nationals Park

The largest crowd in Nationals Park history showed up today to witness an opening day game that was filled with promise, but was ultimately jinxed both on and off the field.

On the field, some fine performances by the young Nationals roster were eclipsed by dropped balls, errant throws, and hit batsmen, leading ultimately to a 9-8 loss at the hands of the world champion Philadelphia Phillies.

Meanwhile, Teddy Roosevelt fans who eagerly anticipated the 4th inning President’s Race were dissapointed when Thomas Jefferson emerged alone from the center field gate to grab a big lead from the start.

Opening day presidents race - Teddy waits in the stands for Thomas JeffersonWhen Abe Lincoln and George Washington followed him out, several paces behind, the question on everyone’s mind became “Where the heck is Teddy?”

The answer came after Jefferson turned the outfield corner, where Teddy was waiting for him in the stands along the 1st base line. Jefferson paused, and Teddy presented him with a bouquet of red balloons in honor of Jefferson’s 266th birthday (who knew?).

That Cat tackles Thomas Jefferson during the opening day presidents race at Nationals ParkThat’s when “That Cat” emerged from behind Teddy, jumped from the stands, and tackled Tom.

Lincoln and Washington ran past him, with Abe easily taking the tape for the first official presidents race victory of 2009.

Teddy never got out of the stands.

That Cat is no stranger to the Nationals presidents race, having first interfered last season, when he attacked Teddy in April and again in June.

Could it be that the panther has joined forces with Teddy to undermine the other presidents? Has Teddy given up on winning to simply play the spoiler? If the reaction of fans around me was any indication, this would not be a popular move. The fans want a clean race. They want to see Teddy get a shot at victory in 2009!

The 2009 season is underway.

Photos courtesy of Flickr user afagen and Luis Albisu

Nats fans need a victory — Will Teddy deliver?

Washington Nationals racing presidents' Teddy Roosevelt at Nationals ParkThe Washington Nationals begin their home season Monday afternoon at Nationals Park against the world champion Philadelphia Phillies, and after an 0-6 start on the road against the Marlins and Braves, the question on the mind of some Nats fans is “Who will win first: The Nationals or Teddy Roosevelt?”

In the first three years of the Nationals presidents race, three different presidents have taken the season crown (George in ’06, Tom in ’07, and Abe last year), which begs the question: Will 2009 be Teddy’s year?

If the last two season openers are any indication, the opening day presidents race will be nothing if not entertaining. In 2007, Teddy was disqualified after flying into RFK Stadium on a zip line. On opening day 2008, Teddy was disqualified again for cutting across the outfield. If Teddy runs a clean race on Monday, we can hold out hope that a change of fortune is in store for 2009.

Nationals Park presidents race bobbleheadsIn April, there’s always hope.

If you don’t have tickets yet, grab your Let Teddy Win t-shirts and head down to Nationals Park tomorrow to take in all the changes at Nationals Park. The team may be having a rough start, but an afternoon at our new ballpark remains one of the best entertainment values in town, and it looks like tickets will still be available at the gate.

This year brings lower seat prices, more (and cheaper) open parking, open home batting practice, the renovated Red Porch restaurant, improved food concessions, the new statues installed in the centerfield plaza, and new 7-foot racing president bobbleheads in the Nats Family Fun Area — perfect for photo ops with Teddy (photo at right courtesy of Teddy fan Shanna Comai).

The centerfield gates open at 12:30pm, with festivities leading up to the first pitch:

12:30pm – Face painting & balloon artists, centerfield plaza
12:30pm – The music of Dr. Fu, new Centerfield Plaza Stage
12:30pm – The music of Road Soda, Miller Lite Scoreboard Walk Stage
12:45pm – Home team batting practice
2:00pm – Nats Xtra with Ray Knight and Johnny Holliday, centerfield plaza
2:35pm – David Gregory hosts pregame ceremonies with singer Patti Austin
3:05pm – First pitch

See you there!

New look for Nationals mascot Screech

Washington Nationals mascot Screech on 70s night at Nationals ParkThe Washington Nationals will unveil a “new look” for their mascot Screech this coming Monday, March 2, at ESPN Zone in Washington, DC. In-game host Clint Kouhry and members of the Nat Pack will be on hand for the unveiling.

If Screech seems a bit young to be getting a facelift, perhaps it’s because he is so clearly at the bottom of the pecking order in terms of Nationals mascot fan-favorites, with Teddy Roosevelt, of course, at the top of the pack. For my money, it’s going to take a lot more than a facelift to boost favor for Screech, who as judge of the Presidents Race, has disqualified Teddy Roosevelt a few too many times.

The Nationals announced today that Screech will make a variety of appearances during March to show off his “fresh-feathered look” before the start of the 2009 baseball season. Monday’s 1:00pm unveiling will be open to the public.

Video from Monday’s presidents race on ice skates

From YouTube member dcfd3694 comes this terrific video of the Presidents Day presidents race on ice skates at Nassau Coliseum.

[Youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rt1_dkVdV_0]

The chaotic two-lap race featured two knock-downs of Teddy, who scuffled not only with Abe Lincoln but with Thomas Jefferson as well, before cheating and cutting across the ice. You have to give credit to Teddy. Despite falling and fighting, he gave it his all and almost caught George Washington at the finish line.

A great addition to the presidents race videos page to kick off 2009.

Toe-to-Toe with Presidents Teddy Roosevelt and Stan Kasten at first-ever NatsFest

Natsfest crowd at Nationals ParkNationals Park was abuzz with life on this cold winter day as thousands of Washington Nationals fans were drawn to the first annual NatsFest fan fest. For the ticket price of just $10.00, Nats fans were able to wander through the usually-restricted field level concourse, lounge in the home team clubhouse, sit in a $300+ Presidents Club seat, take a swing from live pitching in the Nats’ indoor batting cage, and mingle with the likes of manager Manny Acta, General Manager Jim Bowden, team President Stan Kasten, broadcasters, players, and more.

Jim Bowden answers questions from fans at NatsFestAs Steinberg documents well in this evening’s Sports Bog, the Q&A sessions with Acta, Bowden, Kasten, and Assistant GM Mike Rizzo were packed and lively, with numerous questions about the team’s off-season spending (or lack thereof); but Kasten also drew a number of terrific questions about the fan experience, and in what Steinberg called “perhaps the best moment of the day,” addressed the Teddy question.

Kasten told the crowd that he has been a visitor to LetTeddyWin.com. “I’m asked all the time about this Let Teddy Win stuff,” Kasten said, “and ‘Stan, when is Teddy gonna win?’ as if I’m Nostradamus or something like that. How could I know…? But I do know this: Law of averages says he’s gonna win some day, and the only way to be sure you’re here for when that happens is to come every night!”

Stan Kasten answers questions from fans at NatsFestKasten promised a number of changes to the fan experience for 2009, including expansion of the Red Porch to bring tables into the stadium seating area, centerfield plaza improvements to include a “fire pit,” and more food options including value meals at concession stands and “experiments with all-you-can-eat sections” on select game nights.

Kasten also shed some light on why the giant baseball that had been depicted above the Red Loft in pre-construction renderings of Nationals Park never appeared for the inaugural season, explaining that “something” would be installed above the red loft, but that it was pending negotiations with sponsors. Considering that Kasten oversaw the installation of the giant Coke bottle above Turner Field in Atlanta, it’s all making sense now.

The Washington Nationals Racing Presidents at NatsFestThe Nationals racing presidents were noticeably absent from the concourses and activities throughout the park, but could be found behind a door being guarded by Nationals mascot Screech in the “Kids Zone,” a large room in the stadium’s conference center.

Who knew ball parks had conference rooms?

Washington Nationals Racing President Abe Lincoln at NatsfestThe Kids Zone looked remarkably well-staffed and organized, with young Nats fans being entertained by Clint Khoury and the Nat Pack, plus racing presidents Teddy, Abe, George, and Tom, and activities including a moon bounce, wiffle ball, face painting, balloon animals, caricatures, and even a Guitar Hero arcade.

Most remarkable was that the kids zone crowd paled in comparison with the lines that formed for all the “adult” activities. Even the wait for a hand-painted caricature was minimal compared to the time people were spending upstairs waiting for a photo with Ryan Zimmerman. The kids looked like they were having a blast, though it made me nervous to see Abe Lincoln helping kids in and out of the moon bounce. I just don’t trust that guy…

Racing president Abe Lincoln muscles in on Obama’s inauguration

The name Abraham Lincoln was invoked by commentators and politicians again and again throughout president Barack Obama’s inauguration festivities this week. Abe’s imprint was everywhere — from the concert at the steps of the Lincoln Memorial to the bible used to administer Obama’s oath of office.

Seeking to boost his image and muscle in on the good will of an unknowing public, Washington Nationals racing president Abe Lincoln made a number of unannounced appearances for the inauguration celebration.

Washington Nationals racing president Abe Lincoln at Barack Obama's inaugural paradeIn addition to appearances at the previously announced Children’s Inaugural Ball and the Illinois Inaugural Gala, Abe was seen aboard the Illinois float in the inaugural parade.

Flickr photographer Ginger Vibes spotted Abe mingling with the crowd along Pennsylvania Avenue.

The suspected cheater and reigning presidents race champion was later caught by Flickr photographer Melanie Phung mugging with partygoers at the Texas State Society “Black Tie and Boots Ball.”

Washington Nationals racing president Abe Lincoln at the Texas State Society Ball

Meanwhile, over at the Delaware State Society Inaugural Ball, Joe Biden was mingling with invited guest Teddy Roosevelt, seen here with Nat Pack member Stephanie Baldwin and Nationals Park mainstay Clint Kouhry, who I must say cleans up quite nicely:

Washington Nationals racing president Teddy Roosevelt with Nat Pack members Clint Kouhry and Stephanie Baldwin at the Delaware State Society Inaugural Ball

Yes, the presidents certainly got around on Tuesday. It’s great to see our that our favorite Nationals Park tradition has so quickly been embraced as a symbol of DC culture. Where else did you spot our racing presidents?

Teddy welcomes Barack Obama to Washington

Barack Obama with racing president Teddy Roosevelt from philliefan99 on flickrIt’s a big day here in Washington as Barack Obama takes the oath of office, and as reported last week, Washington Nationals racing president Teddy Roosevelt will be on hand to help celebrate at some of today’s inaugural festivities.

Intrepid photographer and presidents race fan Phil Yabut captured the moment with his Pentax as his famous Teddy Roosevelt bobblehead doll met up with its Barack Obama bobblehead counterpart to commemorate the moment.

Phil’s photoset of Teddy’s continued adventures, titled Teddy’s Travels and Travails, is up to 79 photos and can be found on Flickr.

Racing Presidents to Make Inaugural Ball Appearances

At least three of the Washington Nationals racing presidents will be making appearances at inaugural events, balls, and galas next week in Washington, DC. For many Obama administration newcomers, it will be a first introduction to this great Nationals tradition, though if the current schedule holds, Barack Obama’s home state of Illinois Inaugural Gala will receive only a solo visit from the current reigning presidents race champion, the no-good cheating Abraham Lincoln.

While this has been rumored for some time, the schedule could not be confirmed until now because of the logistics of lining up so many members of the mascot crew for the big inaugural weekend. More events may be added, but at a minimum, you can expect to fun into the Nationals racing presidents at the following inaugural events:

SUNDAY 1/18 11:45am – 1:00pm: George Washington and and Abe Lincoln at the Children’s Inaugural Ball, The Historical Society of Washington, D.C.

MONDAY 1/19 7:30pm – 10:00pm, Abe Lincoln at the Illinois Inaugural Gala, the Renaissance Hotel Washington.

MONDAY 1/19 7:30pm – 10:00pm, Teddy Roosevelt at the Delaware State Society Inaugural Ball, the Willard InterContinental Hotel.

TUESDAY 1/20 11:00am – 4:00pm, Teddy Roosevelt at the New York State Society Inaugural Brunch, the Willard InterContinental Hotel.

If you are going to any of these events, we’d love to see your photos in the presidents race group on Flickr.

Flickr photo by apcooby.

More photos from Teddy’s Marine Corps Marathon race.

A secret service escort accompanies Teddy Roosevelt in Sunday's the Marine Corps Marathon

A secret service escort accompanies Washington Nationals racing president Teddy Roosevelt in the Marine Corps Marathon. Photo courtesy of PR Peabody.

Nationals fan favorite Teddy Roosevelt among the starters Sunday morning at the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, DC.  Photo courtesy of David Morse.

Nationals fan favorite Teddy Roosevelt among the starters Sunday morning at the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, DC. Photo courtesy of Tara Kohler.

Happy Birthday Teddy!

It's Teddy Roosevelt's birthday! Teddy Roosevelt turns 150 today, and while presidents race fans here in DC are busy celebrating with big-headed Teddy at Hudson restaurant, Teddy’s namesake bobblehead doll has been on the road again, taking in the World Series.

That’s right. Regular readers know I’m a fan of Phil Yabut‘s flickr photoset — Teddy Roosevelt's bobblehead doll at the World Series in Philadelphia's Citizen's Bank ParkTeddy’s Travels and Travails“, in which Phil has documented the travels of his Washington Nationals Teddy Roosevelt bobblehead doll from the 2007 season. This past weekend, bobblehead Teddy became the first member of the Nationals to make it to the World Series, taking in the late night Game 3 thriller at Citizen’s Bank Park, and waking up this morning to a birthday cake which is quite a bit larger than his head. Thanks Phil. And enjoy the Series while it lasts. The Nats’ time will be coming soon.

Teddy Roosevelt finishes the Marine Corps Marathon!

Washington Nationals mascot Teddy Roosevelt races in the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington DCAs reported last week, the Washington Nationals’ own beloved racing president Teddy Roosevelt did in fact enter today’s Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, DC, and finished the race in an incredible 6:26:49. Given that the costume weighs over 40 pounds, it’s a monumental feat to have finished the race at all. Teddy apparently had to lie to enter the marathon, reporting his age as only 50, but we all know that the big Bull Moose actually turns 150 tomorrow.

Thanks to flickr member Bullneck, who has contributed photos before, for these first images from today’s marathon. And for those of you who didn’t catch the hilarious photos from Friday’s press conference, check them out over at Nats320. SBF, your tips paid off!

If anybody was ever deserving of a post-marathon celebration, it’s our favorite racing president. Expect a big crowd at Hudson for Monday night’s big 150th birthday party.

Teddy’s 150th Birthday Bash to be held Monday night at Hudson Restaurant in DC

Teddy's 150th birthday party will be Monday night at Hudson Restaurant in DC

Teddy's 150th birthday party will be Monday night at Hudson Restaurant in DC

For those of you were wondering just how you’d celebrate Teddy Roosevelt’s 150th birthday on Monday, look no further than today’s announcement via Facebook that our favorite racing president will be the guest of honor at a birthday bash at Hudson Restaurant at 21st and M Streets NW.

The party will go from 8:00pm to midnight, during the Monday Night Football and the World Series games, but Teddy Roosevelt himself will be making his appearance from 8:30 to 9:30pm, to share a complimentary slice of birthday cake with all in attendance. After running in the Marine Corp Marathon, Teddy should be ready for a good party.

Washington Nationals’ Teddy Roosevelt to Race in Marine Corp Marathon Sunday

Teddy Roosevelt will run in Sunday's Marine Corp MarathonThe Washington Nationals have announced that racing president Teddy Roosevelt will participate in the 33rd Annual Marine Corps Marathon this Sunday, October 26 at 8:00am.

Sunday’s race happens to be the day before Teddy Roosevelt’s 150th birthday, and if he completes the marathon at his typical racing speed, he might not finish until Monday’s celebration. The team notes that Teddy hopes to show everyone that it is not about winning or losing, but it is about finishing the race.

Teddy will also appear at the Marine Corps Marathon Press Conference tomorrow, Friday, October 24, in support of all race participants.

The Marine Corps Marathon start line is at Route 110 near the Arlington Memorial Bridge Overpass, at 8:00am Sunday. Bring your Teddy Rally Signs!

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