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!

Teddy gets the royal treatment, sits out Fathers Day

With temparatures in the mid-90s at Nationals Park Sunday afternoon, Teddy Roosevelt, father of six, decided it would be a good opportunity to celebrate Fathers Day as so many dads do — by taking the day off.

Fathers Day at Nationals Park, by Joan JankowskiFor Sunday’s 4th-inning presidents race, George, Thomas, and Abe took to the hot and muggy outfield, but Teddy Roosevelt was in the stands on the first baseline, wearing a Hawaiian shirt and sipping a cold beverage from the Beltway Bar behind section 132, while getting fanned by two members of the Nat Pack.

The scene bothered Abe Lincoln enough that he gave up his lead to
stop and mock Teddy, letting Thomas Jefferson run by him to take the victory.

[YouTube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zEhZ1wUOIQw]

Photo courtesy of Joan Jankowski
Video courtesy of YouTube member TheTeddyRoosevelt

Cast Your Vote: Teddy nominated for 2009 “This Year in Baseball” Awards

Postseason honors are few and far between for the Washington Nationals this season, but over at MLB.com, you can submit your vote today for two Nationals nominees for the 2009 This Year In Baseball awards.

Ryan Zimmerman’s nomination as 2009 Defensive Player of the Year will come as no surprise to Nationals fans; but the more dubious nomination comes in the “2009 Oddity of the Year” category, where among the choices is the July 31 take-down of Teddy Roosevelt by the Pittsburgh Racing Pierogies at Pittsburgh’s PNC Park.

Teddy was running anchor in a 4-team mascot relay race, when racing pierogie Potato Pete, who had not been participating in the race, entered the field and tackled Teddy to the ground.

On that evening’s ESPN Sportscenter, Scott Van Pelt called the incident “the greatest highlight I’ve ever seen”, and was likely the main reason this blog had it’s highest single traffic day ever:

Cast your votes now through December 11. Multiple votes are allowed.

Teddy Roosevelt “getting treatment,” will skip presidents race again.

The Washington Nationals confirmed today that racing president Teddy Roosevelt would be held out of tonight’s presidents race at Nationals Park, marking the third straight race without fan favorite Teddy.

Teddy Roosevelt in the Washington Nationals presidents raceA spokesperson for the team told us that Teddy re-aggravated his hamstring injury from a few weeks ago. “He is getting treatment and we hope he’ll be back in the race by the weekend.”

The mysterious injury was first revealed on September 6, when it was announced to fans at the Park that Teddy had been injured during pre-game warmups. Roosevelt returned the next night and competed in the next 4 races, looking good and even finishing first on September 8, only to be disqualified from that race for cheating. However, Teddy has not appeared since that homestand ended on September 10. Unconfirmed rumors suggest that the hamstring story is a Nationals cover up for a wardrobe malfunction.

Photo by Flickr member antisocialtory

Teddy Roosevelt returns, can’t hold lead

Barely 16 hours after the Nationals announced that Teddy Roosevelt was listed as “day to day” for the presidents race, visitors entering Nationals Park for today’s game vs. the Florida Marlins found Teddy waiting to greet them, giving the thumbs up sign to those inquiring about his health.

Sure enough, when race time came in the 4th inning, a very healthy-looking Teddy jumped out to a quick lead, drawing cheers from the 22,000 fans in attendance. Teddy looked good, but couldn’t hold on in the home stretch, as George Washington took his third race in a row to move into 2nd place in the season standings.

Video courtesy of YouTube member lfahome

Teddy Roosevelt Scratched from Presidents Race, listed as “Day to Day”

Washington Nationals Teddy Roosevelt Scratched Injured Day to DayIn an unprecendented turn of events, the Washington Nationals announced during Saturday night’s game that racing president and fan favorite Teddy Roosevelt had been injured during pre-game warmups and would not participate in the presidents race.

With the Nationals trailing the Florida Marlins in the top of the 4th inning, the Nationals Park announcer said that Teddy’s status was “day to day.”

Sure enough, when the presidents race began, Teddy was nowhere to be seen.

It was “Pups in the Park” night at Nationals Park, with the Washington, DC Humane Society running its adopt-a-pet program for fans in the outfield picnic area, and dog owners invited to bring their dogs to the game. The sold out promotion filled up section 201, where Humane Society volunteers helped keep
George Washington Fire Hydrantan eye on the pets and their owners.

In keeping with the spirit of the evening, George Washington took the early lead in the 4th-inning race, and dropped a fire hydrant along the outfield warning track. Abe Lincoln tripped on the hydrant, leaving George with a clear path to another first place finish.

Photo of Teddy Roosevelt by Anthony Gualtieri
Video by YouTube member TheTeddyRoosevelt

Twitter turns out to be Teddy’s downfall

2009 has been a big year for the Washington Nationals Teddy Roosevelt in the world of social media, as the team has made Teddy its official voice on Facebook and Twitter.

But last night at Nationals Park, it turned out to be Teddy’s downfall.

Teddy had an early lead in the 4th-inning presidents race, then stopped on the outfield warning track to “update his Twitter page.” Those following Teddy26Nats on Twitter saw his update: “Im in the lead! no one can stop me!”

Faster on his fingers than he is on his feet, Teddy did managed to maintain the lead after his Tweet, but then as he hit the home stretch, our #26 stopped to Tweet again: im taking this all the way!!

That’s when Abe passed him for good.

Video by YouTube member lfahome

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