Video: Chaos reigns as visiting mascots assault racing presidents, Easter Bunny tackles Teddy Roosevelt, and Screech takes the tape

YouDee Nationals presidents raceEaster Presidents Race 01Easter Presidents Race 003Easter Presidents Race 002Two Nationals Park traditions literally collided on Sunday as the Washington Nationals celebrated Screech’s birthday with guest appearances by area mascots, and also celebrated Easter with an appearance by a certain bunny.

Each had a history of interfering with the fourth inning presidents race, but never on the same day. What followed wasn’t pretty.

When the race began, visiting mascots YouDee (University of Delaware), Slapshot (Capitals), Pinch (Maryland Blue Crabs), Bill the Goat (Navy), Talon (DC United), Testudo (University of Maryland), and The Colonial (George Washington University) all gathered along the first base line to greet the racing presidents.

George, Tom, Abe, and Teddy emerged from the centerfield gate wearing bunny ears, and Jefferson pulled ahead early, holding onto his lead until the presidents found themselves facing a sea of mascots in the home stretch.

That’s when Slapshot took a running leap over the back of fellow eagle Talon to nail the sage of Monticello with a head-butt.

Delaware’s YouDee then rammed in George Washington, smashing the father of our country’s face.

Finally Maryland’s Testudo stiff-armed Abe Lincoln, knocking off his ears and sending him to the ground.

The mascots then let Teddy Roosevelt run past, seemingly to secure his first victory of the season.

But alas, that’s when the Easter Bunny appeared from nowhere — or more accurately from the new Dugout Club section — and took down the Bull Moose with a vicious diving tackle.

Screech, repeating a scene from last season, waltzed across the finish line to steal the win.

Teddy, however, remains winless as the Nationals begin their road trip to Atlanta.


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

Video: Screech teams with Teddy and Taft to win presidents race relay on his birthday

Screech wins Nationals Presidents RaceScreech wins Nationals Presidents Race birthdayThe Nationals racing presidents have produced a lot of unusual antics over the years, but Sunday’s fourth inning race brought something Nats fans had never seen: mascot Screech the Eagle crossing the finishing line to take the victory just ahead of “Honest” Abe Lincoln.

The victory capped an afternoon-long celebration of Screech’s birthday, with mascots from other mid-Atlantic sports teams on hand to help celebrate.

In previous years, those visiting mascots had interfered with the race, but this year it was Screech’s turn in the spotlight, teaming with Teddy Roosevelt and William Howard Taft against Washington, Jefferson, and Lincoln as the visiting mascots cheered from the finish line.

Video courtesy of lfahome

Teddy packs up for Spring Training

The Washington Nationals began packing for Viera, Florida, where next week pitchers and catchers will begin reporting for 2011 spring training. As part of a media event staged with team sponsor JK Moving and Storage, Teddy Roosevelt joined mascot Screech yesterday at the park to pack the moving truck for Viera.

Grapefruit League games begin March 1, and tickets are available now at nationals.com. Are you going this year?

On an unrelated note, Kurt Smith from the Ball Park E-Guides wrote a nice piece yesterday about the Let Teddy Win blog. Kurt is working on an E-Guide for Nationals Park to be released this spring. He hasn’t asked me for my tips yet, but if he’s been reading this blog since the Park opened, I’m sure he’s picked up a few.

12 mascots can’t stop the racing presidents

The Nationals celebrated mascot Screech’s 5th birthday today at Nationals Park with a 1-0 victory vs. the Los Angeles Dodgers behind a stellar pitching performance by Scott Olson.

Eleven of Screech’s mascot friends were on hand for the celebration, including Slapshot, Talon, Pax, Gunston, Glory, Clawed Z. Eagle, and more. In the 4th inning, they formed a “mascot obstacle course” along the first base line, but George Washington powered through it to take today’s presidents race victory.

Thomas Jefferson followed behind, running over Maryland Terrapin mascot Testudo and knocking him to the ground.

Video courtesy of YouTube member lfahome

Teddy is disqualified for “Unauthorized Use of a Feline”

It was a beautiful night at Nationals Park, with a game time temperature of 73 degrees and a crowd of 17,153 on hand to watch a classic pitchers’ duel between the Nationals’ John Lannan and the Philadelphia Phillies’ Pedro Martinez.

With the Nationals up 1-0 in the 4th inning and Lannan cruising through the World Champions’ batting order, it seemed the only thing that could make the night better would be a victory for Teddy Roosevelt.

That CatTeddy tried a little too hard.

As George Washington sprinted out to an early presidents race lead, Teddy recruited his onetime nemesis That
Cat
to join the race.

The now-familiar panther slammed
Abe Lincoln into the outfield wall, then
chased down George Washington and knocked him to the ground, before finally putting the block on Thomas Jefferson, leaving Teddy Roosevelt with an uncontested path to the finish line.

A biased Nationals Park crowd cheered Teddy’s apparent victory, but Screech quickly stepped in to issue the disqualification for “Illegal Use of a Feline.”

Contacted after the race, Screech responded “”Teddy brought that cat with him onto the field, it was an unfair advantage, he told that cat to tackle George Tom and Abe!! Cheating = DISQUALIFIED!””

Abe quickly got up off the ground to cross the tape and steal Teddy’s thunder, leading us to ask whether judge Screech and racing president Abe are in cahoots. After all, Abe has been known to cheat from time to time, but when was the last time he was disqualified?

And the in-game play-by-play:

Video by YouTube members lfahome and TheTeddyRoosevelt.
Finish line photo by Flickr member melanie.phung

Screech and the Oriole Bird to kick off Battle of the Beltways at ESPN Zone

The Oriole Bird vs. the Nationals Screech in the mascot Battle of the BeltwaysThe hot-hitting Washington Nationals return to Nationals Park tomorrow to kick off an 11-game homestand that should feature plenty of fireworks, starting with the world champion Philadelphia Phillies and ending Memorial Day weekend with the “Battle of the Beltways” against the Baltimore Orioles.

As he did last season, the Oriole Bird will spend the weekend in DC for the Baltimore series, and this year will kick off its visit with a battle against Nationals mascot Screech at DC’s ESPN Zone. On Friday, May 22, from 4:00 to 5:00pm, Screech and the Oriole Bird will take each other on in basketball, horse racing, air hockey, arm wrestling, and an egg race, with a trophy presentation to follow.

The two mascots will then head to Nationals Park for the series opener. No word yet on whether The Bird will be seeking revenge against Teddy Roosevelt for last season’s grudge match defeat.

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