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: John McCain pumps up Teddy Roosevelt on HD scoreboard. Teddy listens. Could victory #1 be next?

Teddy Roosevelt 26 Eye Black Teddyin2012John McCain gives Teddy Roosevelt Pep Talk on the scoreboardJohn McCain gives Teddy Roosevelt Pep Talk on the scoreboardTeddy Roosevelt Falls in the outfieldGeorge Washington dives for the finish lineThe Washington Nationals did nothing to dispell the notion that they are preparing to let Teddy win the presidents race after clinching their first division championship Monday night at Nationals Park.

Fans arriving early for the newly-minted “Teddy in 2012″ series were given Teddy-themed “eye black” decals promoting the cause for #26 himself. That much was known before the game.

But few expected Arizona senator John McCain to appear on the Nationals Park HD scoreboard in the third inning, giving the Rough Rider a pep talk in advance of the race.

In the video, shown below, McCain catches Teddy playing in a kiddy pool in the Nationals Park tunnel.

“You’re my hero. You’re the guy I admire the most,” McCain says, “and this is the way you get ready for a game?” McCain goes on to call Teddy “the victim of a vast left wing conspiracy by the Commie pinko libs in this town.”

After promising a full investigation by the United States Senate, McCain goes inspirational. “The Nats are winning,” he says in the video. “They are there, and you’re gonna lead ‘em, Teddy, and you’re gonna win.”

The next inning, Teddy gave it a spectacular effort and looking fit as a bull moose, sprinted out to a big lead, but fell forward onto the warning track under his own momentum.

Perhaps inspired by McCain’s words, Teddy lept back to his feet and pushed ahead for the finish line, with George Washington hot on his tail.

That’s when the father of our country put his finish line experience into play, diving head first to take the tape and move into a tie for first with Abraham Lincoln.

Congratulations to the 2012 Nationals League East Champions.


In the two weeks since McCain appeared on ESPN and called for a congressional investigation in a Ken Burns-narrated video about Teddy and the presidents race, the Arizona Senator has become the most high-profile member of the Let Teddy Win movement. In fact, the publicity it generated, including a response by the White House, inspired the Nationals to turn this final homestand into a Teddy-themed series.

Finish line video courtesy of YouTube member lfahome
Teddy 26 “Eye black” photo courtesy of reader Maurice Werner.

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