The Nationals unveiled the new commander-in-chief that would be joining the famous Presidents Races yesterday at NatsFest, and as previously reported by the Washington Post’s Dan Steinberg, it was indeed William Howard Taft.
If you’ve ever been to Nats Park, you know that the Nationals are all about baseball history, as evidenced by the columns honoring Hall of Famers like Jackie Robinson, Ty Cobb and Honus Wagner, as well as the statue of Warren Spahn inside the Left Field Entrance. Well, the selection of Taft was no different. Taft was the first ever president to throw out the Presidential Ceremonial First Pitch at Griffith Stadium on April 14, 1914 – a tradition that continues to this day.
If you’re familiar with the Geico Presidents Races, you know that all the presidents go by first names: George (Washington), Tom (Jefferson), Abe (Lincoln) and Teddy (Roosevelt). Taft confirmed to Nationals radio broadcaster Charlie Slowes that he would go simply by “Bill.”
Taft was quick to promote himself in his press conference, stating that he plans to go 81-0 in the races this year. And not only is our new president confident, but he’s also established a rivalry with fellow 20th-century president Roosevelt. Immediately following the conclusion of NatsFest, Taft took to Twitter calling Washington, Jefferson and Lincoln “my only real competition.”
It was lovely meeting all the fans and my only real competition – George, Tom & Abe – at #NatsFest today.
— William Howard Taft (@NatsBigChief27) January 26, 2013
“Bill” will make his debut on Opening Day, April 1 against the Miami Marlins, and it will be interesting to see how well he does. Will new-rival Teddy be able to build off the 4-game winning streak he closed out last season with? Will Bill get going early? Or is he destined for the same fate that Teddy had endured since 2005? Regardless, welcome back to DC, Bill.