The Racing Presidents - Washington Nationals

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Since 2006 the Washington Nationals have featured a Presidents Race during their games. It began with the four presidents enshrined on Mount Rushmore, Washington, Lincoln, Jefferson, and Teddy Roosevelt. Although more presidents were added at times, the race has now returned to the four original members of the Racing Presidents.

When this feature began, it was a cartoon presentation of the four presidents racing through the city of Washington, having to avoid obstacles like open manholes, closed streets, and traffic cones. But, on July 21, 2006, it became a live event. It still began with a video board animation as the four past presidents raced through the city towards RFK Stadium. And, just as they disappeared from the video screen, they emerged from the corner of right field. These costumed figures with gigantic heads were ten feet tall to the top of their heads. They raced down the first base line to a finish at home plate.

The Presidents Race continued when the Nationals moved to Nationals Park and they were featured in a gift shop as “The Rushmores.” In the same year, the costumed figures of American presidents started greeting visitors at the main entrance of the stadium before the games and posed for photos in the “Kids Zone” after the race and until the end of the game.

The race became longer when the presidents began in center field, ran to the corner of right field, down the foul line and over past the Nationals Dugout by third base.

The Racing Presidents are a popular feature of the Nationals games, although they have more to do with American history than the baseball team. The presidents tend to pal around when they are not racing which could only have occurred in real life with Jefferson and Washington who were the first and third presidents while Lincoln was the 16th and Teddy Roosevelt was the 26th.