Jan 26, 2013, 2:27 AM EDT
Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
William Howard Taft debuts at NatsFest on Saturday.
The Nationals unveiled a new racing president Saturday afternoon, one with a built-in connection to baseball and the kind of physique that could provide some comedic value.
William Howard Taft "agreed to terms" to be the Nationals' fifth racing president, "pending a physical," the club announced Friday night. Apparently the rotund, 300-pound, 27th Commander-in-Chief was cleared by doctors, because he was officially unveiled Saturday afternoon at NatsFest to roaring applause from the crowd.
Taft joins George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt in the expanded racing presidents shtick, highlighted by the nightly race in the middle of the fourth inning. "Bill," as the mascot will be called, already has a built-in rivalry with Teddy, who in 1912 attempted to defeat his successor for the Republican Party nomination and ultimately chose to create the "Bull Moose" Party and run as a third-party candidate. (Both wound up losing to Democrat Woodrow Wilson.)
Taft also has a strong connection to baseball. On April 14, 1910, he threw out the first pitch before the Senators' game against theRead more »
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