The first of 81 Presidential Races in 2013 will be on April 1st, and that’s not an April Fools joke, there WILL BE Presidential races in D.C this year! The Washington Nationals will be hosting the Miami Marlins at 1:05pm (EST) and during the 4th inning George, Abe, Teddy, Tom and newcomer Willie will have at it!
The Nationals racing presidents have been a main stay at Nationals Park since July 21st, 2006, with George Washington winning the inaugural race. The original 4, George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, and Thomas Jefferson dress in period costumes with giant foam heads. They occasionally dress in Nationals jerseys with the number on the jersey reflecting what number president they were (1-Washington, 3-Jefferson, 16-Lincoln, and 26-Roosevelt).
Roosevelt finally won the Presidents Race on October 3rd 2012 to celebrate the Nationals reaching the postseason. It was his first win in 525 races!
Enter big Willie. William Taft our 27th President, he will join the “Mount Rushmore Four” this season, and seasons to come. During Taft’s Presidency (1908- 1912), he became the first President to throw out the opening pitch before a game (1910). He may have also inadvertently invented the seventh inning stretch as well during that same game. Taft stood up in between the 7th inning, and the crowd followed suit.
An interesting twist, and a possible story line for the Nationals. Taft and Roosevelt were political rivals. When Taft ran for re-election in 1912, Roosevelt came on to the scene with his Bull Moose Party, and split the Republican vote thus Taft lost his re-election bid.
Happy Presidents Day!