City Desk

The Presidents’ Race’s Next President: The Top Candidates

"Washington Whispers" reporter Elizabeth Flock (yep, that Elizabeth Flock) is reporting that fake Teddy Roosevelt could finally, at last, win a president's race in the Nationals' last regular season game.

The sourcing on Teddy's win seems a little, well, whispery, which makes the big news here Flock's other revelation: The Nats could be getting a fifth president!

"Whispers is hearing, too, that a brand new racing president could be introduced next season, though no word on whether that president would replace Teddy or be added to the roster," Flock writes.

Who from the remaining 40 presidents should join Roosevelt, Abe Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson, and George Washington on the diamond? With apologies to the presidential knife fight, here's a look at the leading candidates, and some reasonable rules for choosing one.

Some caveats:

  1. No presidents from the last 50 years: This can't be political. If you put Ronald Reagan in the line-up, how long before World Net Daily runs an article saying that Reagan gets tackled more by that cat than other president? Sadly, this rule also excludes the only president who could cheat more than Teddy: Richard Nixon.
  2. No John F. Kennedy: Too soon.
  3. No famously unhealthy presidents: The presidents' race is absurd, but it still requires an ounce of belief. I just can't buy Franklin Delano Roosevelt, William Henry Harrison, or Woodrow Wilson tearing down the third base line.

With a good chunk of the presidents eliminated, here's who I think are the leading candidates:

Andrew Jackson: Our seventh president was tough enough to race well against any of the current competitors. Jackson's Q Score is hurt by the Trail of Tears, but the race already has two slaveholders, so apparently that's not much of an issue.

John Adams: Not particularly fit, but wily enough to pull some race-winning schemes. Plus, this sets up a potential Paul Giamatti guest appearance.

William Howard Taft: This may seem like a violation of the sickness rule, but just imagine that little lardo huffing after Lincoln! He would be a natural fit for the eternal-loser role if Teddy wins.

Who would you like to see ziplining, motorbiking, and plain-old scuffling their way to presidents' race victory? Have your say in the comments.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery


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  • @SamuelMoore

    JFK was introduced last year...

  • Typical DC BS

    Teddy should win on the day they clinch the division title (if they do it at home) or the next home game after they clinch the division. He doesn't get to win if they only qualify as a wild-card.

  • @SamuelMoore

    Call me superstitious, but Teddy losing has been working out alright for the Nats.

  • Ben

    Kang or GTFO.

  • shipsa01

    @SamuelMoore - didn't work out too well for us last year... or the year before... or the year before... or, well, ever.

    As for the next president - while I agree that Jackson is the odds on favorite, I would LOVE to see Eisenhower there (a giant bald head - how much fun would that be - and he could hit Teddy with a golf club)!

  • Will Sommer

    Shipsa, Eisenhower's a great suggestion. That mischievous smile...

  • PowerBoater69

    Once Teddy wins they'll introduce Obama to take over the gag he'll pause for a smoke break or to play some golf each race.

  • andrew

    They should rotate them all. People might learn something: "who the hell is Franklin Pierce?"

  • noodlez


  • Peter Orvetti

    Aaron Burr. Not actually a president, but close enough.

    Harding could be fun too.

  • TM

    How about early 19th century's John Tyler? We could get his still living grandson to don the costume:

  • Rob

    Polk is our greatest president next to those four. He's also furthest removed between the founding fathers and pre-Civil War busts.

  • DC John

    The biggest loser of all....Millard Fillmore
    The gayest one of all.......James Buchanan

  • Will Sommer


    In what world is James Polk our fifth-greatest president?

  • Frank Lee Mahdear

    An FDR in a wheelchair would be pretty pretty pretty awesome.

  • Craig Howell

    The reason Teddy is never allowed to win these epic races is that he refused invitations to throw out the first ball of the season and thus races under a heretofore-perpetual curse. Taft accepted that invitation and started the tradition of President throwing out the first ball. Plus, he and Teddy had a terrific falling-out over politics, so letting them both race would add an extra dose of vinegar to the proceedings. So yes, Let Teddy Win this year, but Let (Willie? Howie? Lardo?) Race next year!

  • Tom Howarth

    Hey, Al Gore would be great. He was the people's choice in 2000. Oh, sorry, that's an inconvenient truth.

  • Marina

    Taft - he gave us the 7th inning stretch and the ceremonial first pitch, so he's earned it.

  • Fabrisse

    I could go with Taft, but I think Calvin Coolidge pretending to be above it all could be fun, too.

  • Jack


    Just curious why this is the second article I've read today that says JFK is off limits. Is that something the club put out there?

  • Will Sommer

    Not that I know of, Jack. People may be mentioning him more elsewhere because a foam head has already been made.