There is something about playing the Washington Nationals that brings out the patriotic feelings at the ballpark. Whether it is the fact that Washington plays in the nation’s capital or the team’s color scheme, you can’t help but remember the rich history that has made this country what it is.
One of the more colorful characters in history was Teddy Roosevelt. The 26th president of the United States, was an American hero. Maybe it was his charge up San Juan hill or perhaps it was his “Speak softly and carry a big stick” attitude but one thing was clear, the people loved him.
In many respects Mark Grace and Roosevelt are a lot alike. Both carry a large piece of wood and neither one wore batting gloves. There is another important connection between Grace and Roosevelt, they are both Legends.
That is not to say Roosevelt once played for the Diamondbacks although from his pictures I have to believe he could have been an adequate third baseman with some pop in his bat.
No these two are connected through the races. At Nationals stadium they have a similar race to the Diamondbacks Legends. Rather than featuring former players, the Nationals racers are former presidents.
The connection comes from the fact that since the inception of the Presidents race, Teddy Roosevelt has never won. As of this writing he is 0-317! And we thought going 0-19 was bad. Clearly Roosevelt has brought losing to a whole new level.
I secretly wondered, was the Grace Legend aware of this fact? Would he search out the advice of such a pronounced loser such as Roosevelt? How would fans feel if the Team Shop introduced Gracie Bears in an attempt to replace Teddy bears? (See what happens when your team is 23 games out of first place?)
When the Legends race began, Grace once again had a blank stare in his big foam eyes. About half way down the baseline he suddenly came to life and began sprinting to the front. As the rounded the final corner towards the finish line I felt my pulse quicken.
Was this it? Was I about to witness history? Would Grace finally win his first race? I leapt from my seat wildly cheering rooting Grace to victory! Then in the last few inches Luis Gonzalez leaned in to get the win.
Alas, for the 20th time Grace snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. To make matters worse Daron Sutton held up a sign with Roosevelt’s face that lamented he knew exactly how Grace felt going 0-20.
Maybe Grace needs to take another page from Roosevelt’s book and carry a big stick to whack the other Legends in the knees. Either that or send them to Panama and dump them in the canal.