Video: Racing presidents play volleyball — er, Hooverball — with six pound medicine ball

A ten game road trip gave the Washington Nationals racing presidents lots of time to plan some new hijinks, and they arguably delivered to start this week’s homestand at Nationals Park.

Presidents Race VolleyballPresidents Race Volleyball_002On Monday night, the presidents appeared for the first time wearing contrasting uniforms, with the 18th and 19th century presidents matching the team’s home whites while the 20th century presidents waited for them in foul territory wearing alternate red uniforms.

By the time Washington, Jefferson, and Lincoln arrived, a volleyball net had been erected, and a referee kicked off a quick volley using a six pound medicine ball.

The game, as it turns out, is known as Hooverball, and was invented by president Herbert Hoover’s personal physician to help him keep fit in office. The rules, as it turns out, are not simple.

When Jefferson missed a volley, Hoover and Roosevelt turned and dashed to the finish line, but of course Herbie beat Teddy at the tape.

Thanks to alert reader John for the explanation.

Video for LetTeddyWin.com by lfahome

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

Video: Teddy Roosevelt rides bicycle to presidents race victory on Earth Day

Teddy Roosevelt rides a bike on Earth DayThe Nationals returned to DC Friday night to kick off a series vs. the Minnesota Twins, and Teddy Roosevelt got the homestand started with his second presidents race victory of the season.

Wearing their patriotic uniforms for one of several military appreciation nights this season, four racing presidents jumped out of the centerfield gate on foot; but they were soon followed by Teddy Roosevelt and William Howard Taft aboard bicycles, presumably to promote bike riding for Earth Day.

Teddy lapped the field for an easy bike-assisted victory, and unlike Teddy’s pre-2013 days, the obvious advantage was overlooked and he was not disqualified.

Video for LetTeddyWin.com by lfahome

Video: Meet the Washington Nationals new racing president Herbert Hoover

Herbert Hoover Washington Nationals New Racing PresidentWashington Nationals New Racing President Herbert Hoover with Teddy RooseveltThe Washington Nationals introduced new racing president Herbert Hoover on Sunday morning’s episode of NBC’s Meet the Press. Hoover will join the presidents race beginning today at Nationals Park.

As we detailed recently, Hoover gets the designation “visiting racing president,” since he is sponsored by the White House Historical Association. Hoover replaces Calvin Coolidge, who was the Nationals’ first visiting racing president in 2015. Hoover is being featured and commemorated by the association’s 2016 Christmas ornament. This also means that the July 3 promotional giveaway — previously announced as a “racing president bobblehead,” will be a Herbert Hoover bobblehead doll.

The partnership between the Washington Nationals and the White House Historical Society is a minimum 3-year deal, which means there’s a good chance we’ll see a racing Franklin Roosevelt in 2017.

Rugby, raccoons, and puppies can’t keep Abe Lincoln from claiming a record fifth presidents race season title

“Honest” Abe Lincoln closed out the 2015 home season Monday with an emphatic wire-to-wire victory at Nationals Park, sealing the Great Emancipator’s record fifth presidents race season title.

It was only Lincoln’s fourth victory since August 9th, but that was more than enough to hold off the increasingly crowded field. Five presidents had remained in contention heading into the final homestand, and four of them won, allowing Abe to back into the championship before the weekend.

Nationals Presidents Race Rugby World CupNationals Presidents Race Rebecca Raccoon helps CoolidgeTeddy Roosevelts dog TeddyA tribute to the Rugby world cup on Tuesday had the founding fathers carrying a rugby ball downfield, but a fumbled pass and a bit of fan interference put the ball in Teddy’s hands.

Teddy stiff-armed Abe and carried it over for the win.

Thursday night marked the return of Rebecca Raccoon, Calvin Coolidge’s famous pet, who made her first appearance back in August.

The nocturnal pest reprised her role as interloper, pouncing on Abe Lincoln and causing a pile-up in the home stretch before escorting her owner across the finish line.

Saturday was Pups in the Park day at Nationals Park, and Teddy Roosevelt used the occasion to introduce his own pet dog Teddy to the field.

Wearing a “Teddy 01” dog jersey, Teddy accompanied the Rough Rider as he followed the racing presidents onto the field, then lapped them to take the win and finish third in the season standings.

And with that, the tenth presidents race season comes to a close, a little earlier than most Nats fans expected.

Select videos of the final races of the season:

The September 22 Rugby race, as seen on Nats HD:

The September 24 Raccoon-infested race, as seen from the finish line:

The September 26 “Pups in the Park” race, featuring Teddy’s dog “Teddy”:

And the final race, as seen on Nats HD:

Video: Nats racing presidents pay tribute to Yogi Berra

The Washington Nationals racing presidents paid tribute to baseball great Yogi Berra during Wednesday night’s presidents race at Nationals Park, peppering the play-by-play with well-known quotes from the hall-of-famer who died yesterday at the age of 90.

Abe Lincoln Racing Presidents Yogi Berra

Abe Lincoln is remninded that 90% of the presidents race is mental. The other half is physical.

The Yankee great was a 3-time league MVP, 18-time All-Star and 10-time World Series champion, but was best known over the years for his malapropisms, which Nats PA announcer Jerome Hruska peppered into Wednesday’s play-by-play.

“It’s deja vu all over again,” Hruska claimed as Teddy jumped out to an early lead. When Abe Lincoln then surged from behind, Hruska cheered him on. “C’mon Abe, 90% of the presidents race is mental. The other half is physical.”

Abe responded by turning and pummeling all of his competitors into the outfield fence, then turned and ran alone towards the finish line. “He’s off to the races all by himself,” Hruska followed. “But it ain’t over ’til it’s over.”

Here’s the race as called in the stadium:

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