Teddy Wins ’em Over with Secret Handshake on National Handshake Day

National Handshake Day Racing PresidentsTeddy finishes firstA homestand packed with obscure celebrations continued Friday night as the Nats racing presidents celebrated National Handshake Day at Nationals Park.

Visiting president Herbert Hoover once again skipped the festivities as only Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln and Taft were on hand at the start of the fourth inning presidents race.

But Teddy Roosevelt was waiting along the first base line, stopping his fellow presidents to tell them about National Handshake Day and show each of them a secret handshake.

Of course, as soon as he offered his hand to  William Howard Taft, Teddy pulled it back, psyched out his 1912 rival, and turned toward the finish line.

Video: Teddy Roosevelt Walks Like an Egyptian on 80s Night

Racing presidents walk like an Egyptian 80s NightRacing presidents walk like an Egyptian 80s Night Teddy RooseveltRacing presidents walk like an Egyptian 80s Night Teddy Roosevelt winsFans wore Expos t-shirts and received fanny packs on the way in. The Legwarmers warmed up the crowd. The scoreboard turned monochromatic amber and showed Pac Man graphics and Nats players as 80s icons. Bryce Harper walked up to the plate to the song “Endless Love.”

Yes, it was 80s night at Nationals Park; and in keeping with the fesitivites, the Nats racing presidents emerged for the fourth inning presidents race wearing their brightest 80s fashion.

Teddy Roosevelt wasn’t part of the starting lineup, but after the race had begun, the Hero of San Juan Hill met his fellow presidents on the warning track, stopping them mid-race and then pushing the play button on a giant boom box.

As the song “Walk Like an Egyptian” by the Bangles played over the Nationals Park sound system, George, Tom, Abe, and Bill stood back, allowing Roosevelt to mesmerize them with his best Egyptian dance moves.

Teddy then took off and walked like an Egyptian across the finish line.

Video: Denise Kloke

And the race as called on NatsHD by PA Announcer Jerome Hruska:

Videos: Nationals racing presidents salute Indy 500 with dual races – Abe wins qualifier, takes trophy

The Washington Nationals racing presidents paid tribute to Monday’s 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 by sporting helmets and steering wheels, and running an extra qualifying race in the first inning Sunday at Nationals Park.

Indy 500 Nationals Presidents Race Qualifier Start Your EnginesIndy 500 Nationals Presidents Race Hoover Spins Out of ControlIndy 500 Nationals Presidents Race Lincoln takes the trophyThe first inning race, which saw Lincoln, Jefferson, Taft, and Hoover cross the finish line first, marked the only time the Nationals have ever run an extra presidents race before the 13th inning.

George Washington and Teddy Roosevelt failed to make the cut, and so they sat on the sidelines as the final race began in the usual fourth inning slot.

“Start your engines!” called Nationals PA Announcer Jerome Hruska as the four qualifying presidents lined up for the finale. “3-2-1… They’re off!”

Herbert Hoover got a strong start in the finale and appeared headed to victory, but the 31st president “spun out” in the home stretch, leaving an opening for Abe Lincoln to take the checkered flag. Lincoln received a trophy — rather than the usual belt — to mark the occasion.

Video:Washington Nationals

Video: In Hoover’s absence, Teddy Roosevelt wins twice

Presidents Race starting linePresidents Race Teddy Roosevelt winsHerbert Hoover skipped his fifth straight race Saturday as the Nationals racing presidents battled twice — once in each of the day’s doubleheader games at Nationals Park.

Teddy Roosevelt repeated a feat he had remarkably accomplished before, winning two regular season races on the same day.

In the opener, the presidents took the unusual step of entering the field and forming a starting line. With Nats PA Announcer Jerome Hruska calling the start, giving each of the presidents an equal chance, Teddy pulled away victorious.

In the nightcap, it was once again a field of five. George Washington gave Teddy a run for him money, but the Bull Moose prevailed, thus passing Herbert Hoover to take over first place in the standings.

Videos for LetTeddyWin.com by lfahome

Buddy Bison helps the racing presidents celebrate National Park Service

Buddy Bison Nationals Presidents RaceVisiting racing president Herbert Hoover was once again missing on Friday night at Nationals Park, but the five resident presidents were there to race in their patriotic uniforms, as the Nationals honored the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service.

National Park Trust mascot Buddy Bison was on hand at the finish line to welcome winner William Howard Taft (who supported the National Parks as president, but was certainly not as instrumental as his predecessor Theodore Roosevelt).

Buddy was promoting the Every Kid in a Park program, established by the Obama administration in 2009 to get all U.S. 4th graders outside to explore the great outdoors.

Video: Racing presidents moonwalk in tinfoil helmets for visiting astronaut Kjell Lindgren

Astronaut presidents raceAstronaut Kjell Lindgren WashingtonPresidents race moonwalkIn his recent 5 month stint aboard the International Space Station, astronaut Kjell Lindgren likely never saw anything as alien-looking as the sight that greeted him at the presidents race finish line Tuesday night at Nationals Park.

Lindgren is in D.C. this week to speak about his mission and promote space travel to the next generation of astronauts, so there he was in the fourth inning, holding the Nationals’ presidents race finish line tape along the first base line.

What emerged from the centerfield gate caused more than a few fans to wonder what was going on: six giant figures running around the warning track with their heads wrapped in aluminum foil.

“It looks like they’ve all made their own space helmets,” explained Nationals Park PA announcer Jerome Hruska as the presidents dashed toward Lindgren. “They’re headed into the right field corner, and we’re not entirely sure who’s who!”

Then, just before hitting the tape, they all stopped, turned around, and began moon walking to the finish line. Video below.

Bill Taft Astronaut

Racing “Astronaut” William Howard Taft

Kjell Lindgren Washington

Astronaut Kjell Lindgren is greeted at the finish line by racing president William Howard Taft

Video for LetTeddyWin.com by lfahome
Finish line photo by Denise Kloke

Video: Racing presidents match team’s 16-inning insanity with 20-mascot melee and a presidents race first

Thomas JeffersonMascots attack JeffersonMascots attach racing presidentsScreech wins Nationals Presidents Race birthday carnageScreech wins Nationals Presidents Race Let Teddy WinSunday’s 16-inning marathon victory by the Nationals over the Minnesota Twins is already  being memorialized as one of the most epic and topsy-turvy games in Nats history, so it’s understandable that the game overshadowed what was also an epic and historic day in the pantheon of presidents races.

It was the annual “Kids Opening Day,” in which the team celebrates mascot Screech’s birthday, and other area mascots often show up to join in the fun.

The turnout Sunday was strong, with mascots from at least thirteen area teams and colleges in attendance, including G-Wiz, Slapshot, Glory, Poe, Uncle Slam, Talon, Testudo, Clawed Z. Eagle, YouDee, Baby Blue, Bulldog Jack, Bill the Goat, True Grit, Winger, and Glory.

In the fourth inning race, Thomas Jefferson emerged first and jumped out to a huge lead, but was met in the right field corner by a relentless onslaught of mascots, who jumped and pummeled him, with Navy mascot Bill the Goat repeatedly kicking the founding father on the ground.

When the other five presidents rounded the corner, the mascots got up and slammed into them all, then turned around and went back after Jefferson, who was body-slammed by Slapshot as he tried to get up.

Presidents race history was then made when Screech, who usually calls the winner from the finish line, took off and raced for the belt himself, marking only the third time a non-president has taken the tape*.

When the game went into the thirteenth inning, it was Jefferson’s chance for redemption. Wearing their traditional “Sunday best” uniforms for the first time this season, Jefferson ran away with the extra-innings win.

Here’s the official video as called at Nats Park, followed by the TV coverage on MASN:

Note: Our usual finish line videographer lfahome was not in attendance, so I tried to shoot the finish line videos myself, and botched the job (for both races!). What he does is not so easy.

* In 2009, Visiting pierogie Cheese Chester went off script and stole a win. In 2011, it was Jayson Werth.

Videos: Washington Nationals, MASN

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