Taft Makes Five

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As first reported by The Washington Post’s Dan Steinberg, the Nationals will announce William Howard Taft – aka “Bill” – as the fifth Racing President Saturday afternoon at NatsFest.

The 2012 season was one of many breakthroughs for the Nationals, including for the most beloved of the Racing Presidents, Teddy. On the heels of the team’s first playoff berth, Teddy finally won a race (legally) after more than 500 defeats. And while the payoff was glorious, it was time to add a major wrinkle to the Presidents Race this year.

TaftGraphicEnter “The Big Chief.”

Taft, our country’s 27th President, was always the opportunist, rising to the highest post in the land by always having his “plate the right side up when offices were falling,” as he once jokingly put it. He was also the first U.S. President to throw out a ceremonial first pitch, which he did on Opening Day, 1910, right here in The District. Legend also has it that Taft “invented” the seventh-inning stretch, when he stood up to stretch at a game and the crowd around him followed suit.

Once great allies, he and Roosevelt tussled over policy matters following Taft’s ascension to the Presidency in 1912. That led Roosevelt to run as a third-party candidate against the man that had succeeded him as Commander in Chief, ultimately costing both men the chance to return to the Oval Office. Later in life, the two reconciled, leaving the question open as to whether they will work in concert to try to win in 2013, or if their feuding will cost each a chance at victory.

The only American ever to serve as both President and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Bill (@NatsBigChief27) joins Teddy (@Teddy26Nats) as the only other Racing President to speak his mind on Twitter.

Come see the newest Racing President as he makes his first public appearance at NatsFest on Saturday, January 26 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. Visit nationals.com/natsfest for tickets and more information about the event.

18 Comments

William Howard Taft is the worst possible pick out of all of the 44 presidents with the exception of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who was disabled. Taft weighed 340 pounds, and was the first president to use a car, as his immense weight was considered cruel to any horse he may have tried to ride. He also had to have a special bathtub installed in the White House, as the tub there was too small for him.

Wags of the day also referred to Taft with the acronym, “Take Advice From Theodore,” as Teddy Roosevelt was his immediate predecessor, and Taft was also TR’s vice president.

You’re certainly entitled to your opinion, however Taft was not Roosevelt’s VP, but rather his successor as President. The two men were former allies-turned-rivals, and Taft was the only President to ever serve on the Supreme Court, becoming Chief Justice. There are certainly compelling reasons for his addition.

Lets be honest, FDR would have been more fun, rolling down the warning track in a wheelchair.

Taft was never TR’s Veep. He was the Secretary of War.

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When will Major League Baseball’s Washington team finally and officially change that team’s ridiculous and extremely stupid nickname from the “Nationals” to the more historically appropriate “Senators”?

My understanding is that the Nationals couldn’t change their name to the Senators even if they wanted to. The name is still the property of the Texas Rangers and they wouldn’t give it back to Washington. If you want to talk history there was a team in Washington in the early 1900’s named the Nationals so it is totally appropriate.

When residents of the District of Columbia can vote for U.S. Senators and have them represent their interests on Capitol Hill.

Why have a fifth President? There are only four on Mount Rushmore. If anything then have Calvin Coolidge since he was president when Rushmore was begun!

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Taft? Seriously? There are so many better presidents to choose from!

You should add Bill Clinton next…but he might be too easily distracted by the pretty girls in the stands :). Great job Nats! I’m glad you are adding to the fun this season!

Love the Presdients race and I like the choice of Taft – GREAT addition. But Taft as inventor of 7th inning stretch is an open question. While the origin of the seventh-inning stretch is much disputed, many baseball experts point to Brother Jasper, prefect of discipline at Manhattan College in the late 19th century, as the most documented originator of the idea.

From Wikipedia:

“Brother Jasper of Mary, F.S.C., was the man credited with bringing baseball to Manhattan College in the late 19th century. Being the Prefect of Discipline as well as the coach of the team, it fell to Brother Jasper to supervise the student fans at every home game. On one particularly hot and muggy day in 1882, during the seventh inning against a semi-pro team called the Metropolitans, the Prefect noticed his charges becoming restless. To break the tension, he called a time-out in the game and instructed everyone in the bleachers to stand up and unwind. It worked so well he began calling for a seventh-inning rest period at every game. The Manhattan College custom spread to the major leagues after the New York Giants were charmed by it at an exhibition game.”

I’m waiting for Taft to roll out in his famous oversized bathtub…..

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A year late, but why can’t we have FDR in his wheel chair? These mascots are not being made fun of, they’re being celebrated, Imagine a stadium crowd cheering as the president in the wheelchair wins a race — and what a great way to show we care about our disabled veterans. Please make FDR No. 6!!!

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