For the first time in 100 years, William Taft will be running against Theodore Roosevelt.
The Washington Nationals announced this weekend that Taft will join Roosevelt, George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and Thomas Jefferson as a participant in the team's fourth-inning "Presidents Race."
Taft is an appropriate choice, seeing as he began the tradition of the president throwing out a game's ceremonial first pitch and is also credited as having accidentally started the seventh inning stretch.
Roosevelt and Taft, once political friends turned bitter foes, will get to relive their rivalry on the baseball diamond. Taft was Roosevelt's Secretary of War and went on to succeed Roosevelt as president in 1908. Four years later Roosevelt ran against Taft, and both ended up losing to Woodrow Wilson.
Roosevelt's struggles in the mascot race have been well documented. He won his first race on Oct. 3, 2012, and is 210 victories behind all-time leader Lincoln. One would think adding another mascot would only hurt Roosevelt's chances, but Nationals COO Andy Feffer told the Washington Post that it was actually Roosevelt who pushed for Taft to be added.
"Not only do I think he'll be well-received, but he'll add to the competition," Feffer said. "Who knows what’ll happen next? He might even give Teddy a run for his money."
If the actual presidents were running against each other, Taft would almost certainly lose every time. Whereas Roosevelt and Washington were athletic men, Taft weighed more than 300 pounds.
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