There are rumors that the unprecedented may happen before the end of the season. No, not that the Orioles could make the postseason… something far more unprecedented: Teddy Roosevelt may win the Washington Nationals’ Presidents Race. You see, in Washington they have the four presidents from Mount Rushmore race every night. But while George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Abe Lincoln have all won plenty of times, Theodore Roosevelt has never won. Ever. Despite the fact that they’ve been racing since July of 2006. There even was a Ken Burns mini-documentary about it on ESPN, where Senator John McCain declared that he was considering congressional hearings over this. With the Nationals now going to the postseason and with plenty of promotion over Teddy for the final homestand of the season, some are taking this to mean that he may finally win.
Only time will tell whether this is true. However, it does bring the opportunity to go over the various racing mascots in Major League Baseball, because, well, why not?
The Racing Sausages (Milwaukee):
The original racing mascots, the Brewers’ Sausage Race is legendary. Before Ryan Braun and the now-departed Prince Fielder showed up, they were quite possibly the biggest stars. While they have been going in one form or another since the 90s, they perhaps first got mainstream attention in 2003 when Randall Simon hit the Italian Sausage. They also made appearances in the Bernie Mac vehicle, Mr. 3000. Nowadays, there are five sausages that race: the Bratwurst, the Polish Sausage, the Italian Sausage, the Hot Dog and the newest sausage, the Chorizo.
Racing Pierogis (Pittsburgh)
Mmm… Pierogis. Oh, ah… anyway, the Pittsburgh Pirates’ have another one of the longer-lasting mascot races. The Great Pierogi Race has four entries: Jalapeno Hannah, Cheese Chester, Sauerkraut Saul and Oliver Onion. They have, on a few occasions, interacted with the Racing Presidents.
Racing Dots (Texas)
The various racing mascots can all in some way be traced back to the many scoreboard races. You know what they are: the scoreboard shows a video of a “race” and the winning color or character gets their section of the stadium a coupon to somewhere. Apparently the tradition got it’s start in the old Arlington Stadium in Texas, and they had racing dots. They are now in a 3D mascot form that is a bit underwhelming, and they are occasionally joined or replaced by Texas Legends like Sam Houston, Davey Crockett, Jim Bowie, Nolan Ryan and Earl Campbell.
Atlanta’s mascot race is sponsored by Home Depot, so they have tools racing: a saw, a drill, a hammer and a brush. Meh.
Hot Sauce Packet Race (Houston)
Much like with Atlanta, they had their race determined by a sponsor… which is why they have Taco Ball Hot Sauce Packets racing. Wouldn’t it be better to have Killer Bees racing while wearing Biggio, Bagwell and Derek Bell uniforms?
Other Hot Dog Races
Racing Legends (Arizona)
The Diamondbacks may be a relatively young club, but they still have enough history for some racing legends. Much like Teddy Roosevelt, the mascot representing Mark Grace has never won. Presumably there needs to be some sort of match race between the two.
The Sea Race (Miami)
The newest race in the bunch, the Miami Marlins introduced a race between sea creatures this season.
Anything I’m missing?