Teddy Roosevelt had never won a race at Nationals Park (at least not without being disqualified for cheating); but tonight a packed house got to cheer as our beloved #26 came from behind and crossed the finish line to claim victory in a 1-on-1 grudge match vs. The Bird from Baltimore.
It was a night of firsts, starting with the first Washington Nationals home game since July of 2006 not to feature an official presidents race. The “unsanctioned” event was announced only yesterday, after Teddy was tripped by the Orioles mascot, robbing him of a presidents race victory.
With the outfield scoreboard displaying the two contestants’ vital statistics (Moustache-span: 2.5 ft), the racers were introduced and Teddy appeared from the centerfield gate draped in an American flag. The Bird got a huge jump out of the gate, but Teddy quickly turned on the afterburners. As they raced past the centerfield wall flashing “TED-DY,” Teddy passed The Bird to run away with it in the home stretch.
It was the unquestioned highlight for Nationals fans in an otherwise depressing 9-1 loss to the Orioles. No, this one doesn’t count in the standings (if there was any doubt, it was removed when the “The Presidents Racing Association of America” announced the fact shortly after the race), but one can hope that Teddy’s come-from-behind victory will serve as momentum and inspiration.
Photo courtesy of flickr user The West End
Video by YouTube users theblackdog2071 and 3031oaktown