Racing To The Top

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With all the awards flying in for the Nationals from different corners of the baseball world, one recent accolade may have gone overlooked. Unlike all the other awards, this one is not restricted simply to the world of Major League Baseball. The award in question is the Best On-Field Promotion, with the winner picked from all of professional sports by the independent operation In 2012, the Racing Presidents rated by far and away the best in sports.

The website has been doling out its coveted Golden Steagle Eagle Bobbleheads to the best acts and promotions in sports for 11 years now. The Presidents Race went home a winner in its second year in 2007, then split the honors in 2009 with Milwaukee’s Racing Sausages. In 2012, a breakthrough year for not just the team on the field, but also Teddy – who won his first (then second, third and fourth) race upon the Nationals clinching their first-ever NL East title – the Racing Presidents have ascended to the top once again.

The Golden Bobblehead (from 2010), in all its glory.

The Golden Steagle Eagle Bobblehead (from 2010), in all its glory.

Why the return to glory this year? We went straight to the source for a more detailed explanation.

“The Presidents Race stands out not only for being a thoughtful connection to the market, but for being an entertainment element that is always well produced,” said Vice President of Jon Cudo.  “Live races, especially during a long baseball season, can become overlooked and the creativity can wane…but I never hear that about the Presidents.”

In fact, fans seemed to grow more impassioned as the season went on and the Nationals continued winning, that perhaps Teddy – by far the most popular and only winless Racing President – was ready to finally break through for his first victory. His fortunes had seemed to mirror those of the team on the field, and with the first contender brewing in the Nation’s Capitol since the 1930s, a Teddy win no longer seemed impossible.

“My favorite aspect is the four presidents each have their own story and personality, then those personalities are used to tell the race story,” said Kudo. “I appreciate what has gone into cultivating these costumes in characters, and how those characters add so much value to the Nationals well beyond the fourth inning race.”

Teddy wins, and the crowd goes wild.

Teddy wins, and the crowd goes wild.

When the Nationals clinched the division in the season’s final week, all that was left was for Teddy to hold up his end of the bargain and win his own race. With the final series dubbed “The Teddy Series,” replete with Teddy-themed giveaways each day, the win was there for the taking. But would it actually happen? The Twitter world was abuzz with speculation leading into the event, and exploded into a tizzy when – on the season’s final day – the Rough Rider finally broke the tape (legally) for the first time.

“Having Teddy lose year after year has been an amazing journey and, like many fans, I eagerly awaited the payoff victory,” Cudo continued. “The storybook finish for the Nationals, the birth of NATITUDE and the first-ever playoff berth made the perfect storm for Teddy’s eventual victory.”

What’s next for Teddy and the rest of the Racing Presidents? Time will tell. One thing’s for sure – these local celebrities are keeping themselves busy in the offseason, partaking in events like the The Washington Ballet’s rendition of the holiday classic, “The Nutcracker.”

But regardless of what happens in the future, for the 2012 season, they reign as kings of the on-field promotion world.

“Anytime excited fans are chanting the name of a character you use in a sponsored live entertainment race, you’ve won,” said Cudo in conclusion, referencing the crowd following Teddy’s victory. “In the world of game operations and entertainment, the Presidents Race, particularly in 2012, was an unqualified success and a landslide winner for Best On-Field Promotion.”


It was wild when Teddy won his first race. Sounds silly but my eyes actually teared up. Going to the Nats games is just great fun and I am anxiously awaiting April 1st. Sure wish baseball could go all year.

Teddy is my hero. But so is Bryce, Adam, Stephen, Gio, Jayson, Mike, Ryan, Ross, Tyler… Come on April!!!

Was a Senators fan and now a Nationals fan. Go Nats.. Can’t wait for new season.

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