Teddy Roosevelt may not be bringing up the rear for much longer in the Nationals' annual fourth-inning Presidents' race.
According to Dan Steinberg of The Washington Post, the Nationals will be adding a fifth, portly member to the presidential sprint, the 27th president of the United States, William Howard Taft.
UPDATE: Saturday, Jan. 26, 3:50 p.m. ET by Donald Wood
After much anticipation, the Washington Nationals have finally unveiled the fifth member of the Presidents’ races at Nationals Park and the 27th President of the United States, William Howard Taft (h/t Washington’s Official Twitter account):
---End of update---
While this may look like a big risk on the surface—shaking up the nucleus of what was a dominant four-man race—the addition of a wild card like Taft to the original members adds excitement to the races.
The fans already love George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson and Theodore Roosevelt (Teddy finally got his first win in 2012), but there are so many fun ways that Taft could liven up the races at Nationals Park.
What It Means
For those unfamiliar, Taft was a rather large man, and he is regarded as one of the fattest presidents in history (h/t Chestnet.com). He once famously got stuck in his bathtub. The Nationals will undoubtedly ensure that this characteristic is emphasized in the costume design.
Another note that makes Taft the perfect addition to the race—besides the lack of a widely known political affiliation—is his longstanding issues with fan-favorite Teddy Roosevelt.
While Taft was Roosevelt’s friend and successor for the presidency, the two had a very public war of words that ruined their relationship. There is little doubt that this disdain will launch a new rivalry.
Pitchers and catchers are reporting to spring training soon, and Taft too must report early to be ready to make the jump to the major leagues...of president racing.
The possibilities for drama are endless—there are now four former presidents trying to stifle the now-red-hot Roosevelt—and the Nationals fans will be lucky to see such a historic battle for presidential supremacy.
While some fans may complain about the addition of another president to an already successful race, Taft’s sheer size and pure hatred for Teddy will create one of the greatest rivalries in sports.
And no, that’s not being overly dramatic about it.