A photo of Teddy that I captured at Opening Day 2014. He had a tremendous lead, but failed to cross the finish line first. Photo: Reed Sandridge
I have become a huge Washington Nationals fan. I try to get to a few games each year and have somehow managed to make it to every home opener since the Nationals came to Washington a decade ago.
For those of you who haven’t been to a Nationals baseball game, during the fourth inning five 10-foot mascots dressed as former presidents race around the inside of the ballpark. Why do they race you ask? Who cares…it’s just fun to watch.
Teddy having a good belly laugh during a pre race meeting. Photo: M. Scott Mahaskey/Politico.com
Teddy (T. Roosevelt) is joined by George (Washington), Abe (Lincoln), Tom (Jefferson) and newcomer Bill (Taft). I’m not sure why they added Bill back in 2013 – I liked that all four original commander in chiefs were featured of Mount Rushmore. Bill just seems like a 5th wheel.
Teddy was the best gimmick in baseball for nearly seven years. No matter how far of a lead he had in the race he would never win. That was until the last game of the regular season in 2012, which I was at, when Teddy finally won. In a way I thought it was hilarious that he never won and think they should have kept it going. There were social media campaigns to #LetTeddyWin. He was the talk of the town.
With all the attention on the Nationals starting pitcher Max Scherzer – who Washington picked up during the off-season for something like $1.3 billion – I thought I would drop Teddy a note so he wouldn’t feel left out of all the hype and excitement surrounding today.
See you at the game!
Opening Day – I imagine this is a big day for you. I’ve been to all 10 Nationals home openers and I’ll be there today. I come to watch you my friend. You’re a star, a legend, a nonconformist, even a bit of a rule-bender. I like that.
Photo: M. Scott Mahaskey/Politico.com
I was at the game the 2012 game when you won your first race – frankly I was disappointed about that. Your inability to win a race was pure genius. But I still love you and remain your fan even though if it weren’t for the newcomer Taft you’d be in last place with your unflattering 6.82 win percentage.
I would love to come visit you some day – hang out, help you prepare for the race, lend a hand (literally) answering some fan mail, grab a post race beer…whatever. Would that be possible? I’ve got skills and am willing to do just about anything.
P.S. Stay focused today…don’t listen to the Scherzer hype…it’s all about you my man!