It was an afternoon to remember at Nationals Park.
The last game of the season was designated Fan Appreciation Day by the Nationals, and the 23,944 who made their way to Natstown for the rare late afternoon start got plenty to appreciate, starting with free fleece blankets and leading to perhaps a glimpse of the future: heroics by the team’s young prospects, a sweep of the New York Mets, and an unlikely playoff atmosphere.
Heading into the game, it appeared that little suspense remained in the Nationals disappointing season beyond the outcome of the 4th-inning presidents race.
Would Abe Lincoln, coming off a 5-race winning streak, extend his dominance? Would Teddy Roosevelt surprise the field, end the curse, and send Nats fans into the off season filled with hope? Or would George Washington or Thomas Jefferson emerge from the pack to break their 2nd-place tie in the final race of the year?
Abe and Tom broke out to an early lead, with Teddy trailing behind. George Washington uncharacteristically got a late start, then inexplicably ran the wrong way along the left field wall.
Abe and Tom ran neck and neck around the right field corner before realizing that the finish line had disappeared. It had been moved to the other side of the field, where George was crossing it uncontested.
As this video by YouTube member lfahome shows, Abe Lincoln was furious, and let out some of his ‘roid rage on the tarp roller in foul territory.
It’s not clear how or why the finish line moved, but it appears that only George got the memo.
If in fact George Washington fixed the race in his favor, then one would think he’d be disqualified. But as we all know, Teddy will finish the season as the only racing president to have been subject to disqualification. The fix is definitely in, but it’s all about Teddy. It’s “wait ’till next year” once again for Teddy Roosevelt fans. Here’s hoping that next season they’ll Let Teddy Win.
Photo by Flickr user tbridge