Lincoln holds off challengers to take his 3rd title as the Nationals racing presidents bid farewell to Stan Kasten

In the end, it was no contest.

After a back and forth month in which both George Washington and Thomas Jefferson made strong runs at first place in the presidents race standings, back-to-back repeat champion Abraham Lincoln held off all challengers in the final race of the season, pulling away for a convincing victory and claiming the presidents race title for the third year in a row.

More importantly, the race marked the fifth straight season of futility for #26, Teddy Roosevelt, who failed to deliver in the final home game for Nationals president Stan Kasten, the aleged architect of the anti-Teddy conspiracy.

Racing presidents farewell to Stan KastenNo sooner had Nationals mascot Screech declared Lincoln the winner, when he joined the presidents in holding up signs of appreciation for Kasten, who announced last week that he would be leaving the team at the end of the season.

During his five year tenure with the Nationals, Kasten has been both praised and criticized for his marketing of the team and the Nationals Park experience, including the now-famous 4th-inning presidents race. A Nationals Park farewell tribute was punctuated by a presentation of cupcakes to Kasten by Teddy Roosevelt.

The racing presidents will carry some compelling story lines into the off season. After three straight titles, is it fair now to declare this a presidents race dynasty for the Great Emancipator? With Kasten departing, will we see the team take a tougher stance on Abe’s cheating? Most importantly, with new management in place, will 2011 be the year the Nationals finally let Teddy win?

Video courtesy of YouTube member lfahome (whose video of Tuesday’s race was featured tonight on ESPN)

WTOP radio covers Teddy’s plight

Many people have asked today about the feature that ran this morning on DC’s WTOP radio in which Jim Riggleman was interviewed about the plight of Teddy Roosevelt.

If you missed it, you can listen here courtesy of WTOP.

UPDATE: A much lengthier piece ran later, and we will post the link to that as soon as it’s available.

Teddy returns to the scene of the crime, and it’s not pretty

It’s been more than a year since the Nationals racing presidents last appeared at Pittsburgh’s PNC Park — an infamous visit in which Teddy Roosevelt became a SportsCenter highlight when Pittsburgh Pirates racing pierogie Potato Pete took Teddy down in an open field tackle that ESPN’s Scott Van Pelt called “the greatest highlight I’ve ever seen.”

The presidents took the field at PNC Park once again this Labor Day weekend for a series of relay races vs. the pierogies, and by all accounts, Teddy was not about to let a renegade Pierogie take him down again.

On Saturday night, Teddy ran the anchor leg, and sure enough, he held the lead again in the home stretch, but the Pittsburgh mascots left nothing to chance, sending not one but two pierogies after him. Teddy was promptly flattened, keeping the presidents winless in their 3 seasons of visits to PNC Park.

A crazy night of milestones for the Nats and the presidents

Was it the moon?

The beautiful bright moon that hovered over the Nationals Park scoreboard wasn’t officially full, but what other explanation could there be for the 4 1/2-hour spectacle that unfolded Thursday night.

The night that had it all started with an awesome display by one young superstar-to-be and ended with a burst bubble about another.

In between, the game that saw 43 players pound out 30 hits over 13 innings was overflowing with personal drama.

Take your pick: Jordan Zimmerman’s return from Tommy John surgery, the roughing up of St. Louis Cardinals ace Chris Carpenter, Albert Pujols hitting his 400th career home run, then twisting his ankle in extra innings, Drew Storen blowing his first save, Roger Bernadina hitting his first home run at Nationals Park to tie the game in the 9th, Ian Desmond’s walk-off RBI in the 13th inning…

As if on queue, the Nationals racing presidents were prepared to match the drama step by step with a few oddities and milestones of their own.

In his 4th appearance this season, Teddy Roosevelt’s longtime nemesis “That Cat” appeared along the first baseline, dancing about in front of the stands during the 4th-inning presidents race.

Teddy jumped out to a big lead in the race, but when he spotted the panther, he veered off course to pummel him into the stands.

Thomas Jefferson took the tape.

As the game advanced into the night and the crowd thinned, the Bull Moose took to the stands to entertain the crowd.

In the 12th inning, Teddy parked in centerfield section 101, posing for photos with fans. When he was still there at the top of the 13th, we knew trouble was in store.

For the seventh time in presidents race history, the Nationals took a home game into the 13th inning, leading to that rare treat for presidents race fans:
a second official race of the night.

Apparently Teddy didn’t get the memo.

When Washington, Jefferson, and Lincoln burst out of the centerfield starting gate, Teddy was still hanging out with fans in the stands. He jumped up from his seat and raced around the concourse, but didn’t make it to the field in time to compete.

In another milestone, George, Tom,
and Abe crossed the finish line in a dead heat. The race was too close to
call, and Screech awarded a first-ever
presidents race tie to Tom and Abe.

Here are two great videos courtesy of YouTube member lfahome, including a great capture of Teddy’s encounter with That Cat!

Teddy gets the royal treatment, sits out Fathers Day

With temparatures in the mid-90s at Nationals Park Sunday afternoon, Teddy Roosevelt, father of six, decided it would be a good opportunity to celebrate Fathers Day as so many dads do — by taking the day off.

Fathers Day at Nationals Park, by Joan JankowskiFor Sunday’s 4th-inning presidents race, George, Thomas, and Abe took to the hot and muggy outfield, but Teddy Roosevelt was in the stands on the first baseline, wearing a Hawaiian shirt and sipping a cold beverage from the Beltway Bar behind section 132, while getting fanned by two members of the Nat Pack.

The scene bothered Abe Lincoln enough that he gave up his lead to
stop and mock Teddy, letting Thomas Jefferson run by him to take the victory.

[YouTube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zEhZ1wUOIQw]

Photo courtesy of Joan Jankowski
Video courtesy of YouTube member TheTeddyRoosevelt

Cast Your Vote: Teddy nominated for 2009 “This Year in Baseball” Awards

Postseason honors are few and far between for the Washington Nationals this season, but over at MLB.com, you can submit your vote today for two Nationals nominees for the 2009 This Year In Baseball awards.

Ryan Zimmerman’s nomination as 2009 Defensive Player of the Year will come as no surprise to Nationals fans; but the more dubious nomination comes in the “2009 Oddity of the Year” category, where among the choices is the July 31 take-down of Teddy Roosevelt by the Pittsburgh Racing Pierogies at Pittsburgh’s PNC Park.

Teddy was running anchor in a 4-team mascot relay race, when racing pierogie Potato Pete, who had not been participating in the race, entered the field and tackled Teddy to the ground.

On that evening’s ESPN Sportscenter, Scott Van Pelt called the incident “the greatest highlight I’ve ever seen”, and was likely the main reason this blog had it’s highest single traffic day ever:

Cast your votes now through December 11. Multiple votes are allowed.

Teddy Roosevelt “getting treatment,” will skip presidents race again.

The Washington Nationals confirmed today that racing president Teddy Roosevelt would be held out of tonight’s presidents race at Nationals Park, marking the third straight race without fan favorite Teddy.

Teddy Roosevelt in the Washington Nationals presidents raceA spokesperson for the team told us that Teddy re-aggravated his hamstring injury from a few weeks ago. “He is getting treatment and we hope he’ll be back in the race by the weekend.”

The mysterious injury was first revealed on September 6, when it was announced to fans at the Park that Teddy had been injured during pre-game warmups. Roosevelt returned the next night and competed in the next 4 races, looking good and even finishing first on September 8, only to be disqualified from that race for cheating. However, Teddy has not appeared since that homestand ended on September 10. Unconfirmed rumors suggest that the hamstring story is a Nationals cover up for a wardrobe malfunction.

Photo by Flickr member antisocialtory

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