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Posted at 10:42 AM ET, 01/17/2011

So you think you can be a Racing President?

By Ryan Korby

There are not many part-time jobs I’d be willing to commute more than 200 miles to, except this one: Racing President, Nationals Park. It combines two of my passions, running and the Racing Presidents.

On the face of it, the qualifications aren’t too tough. The applicant needs to be available for 35 home games, which seems like the toughest one for me since I live in New Jersey, but that’s what we have the Acela Express for. I could zip down for a weekend series and head back home without missing hardly any work.

The person who gets the job also has to don a 45-pound costume for several hours, i.e. the duration of the game. Carrying around that much weight in my arms for an afternoon would be tiring, but stack it onto my frame and I could handle it. Plus, I’m sure there’s some mystical powers obtained from being George, Tom, Abe, or Ted that give you superhuman strength.

The next Racing President also needs to be able to run about 200 yards in 40 seconds. I’ve got a feeling this is where many people start to get weeded out. That’s a little faster than six-minute mile pace. Granted, it’s about a ninth of that distance, but if you don’t have some leg speed, than kiss being one of the leaders of the free world away. Luckily for me, I ran track in college and have avoided enough morning donuts that I can still hit that pace.

So, there you have it, I’m a willing and able applicant to run around Nationals Park wearing a giant foam head, except for one small qualification I don’t quite hit: you have to be between 5-foot-7 and 6-foot-6 to be a Racing President. It’s the adult equivalent of not being tall enough to ride Space Mountain. Standing tall at 5-6 (maybe 5-5 and 7/8”) I will never be able to display the athletic prowess of one of the Rushmore Four.

I guess I could see if the Great American Sausage Race needs a part-time Chorizo, but that job just doesn’t carry the same prestige as pacing the other presidents around the warning track. Also, the Sausage Race comes with the occupational hazard of being clubbed by a bat-wielding Randall Simon.

Since I am ineligible, I’m going to get a few friends to try out, because I want to know what the hiring process is like. Apparently, the tryouts are by invitation only and they decide on those invitations based on the photo, resume and cover letter you’re supposed to send. First of all, what good does a photo do? You’re wearing a giant cartoon head. Also, I wonder what skills you list in a resume that make you uniquely qualified to fulfill the responsibilities of a Racing President. I’d have to imagine that a friend that is a teacher and has all the clearances to work with kids would be a good pick. Nobody wants a President with an unsavory reputation.

I just hope that in the future, people of all sizes can apply to be Nationals mascots. The Nats should bring back Baby Screech. He has to be short, he’s a baby.

By Ryan Korby  | January 17, 2011; 10:42 AM ET
Categories:  Nationals, Ryan Korby  | Tags:  Nationals, Ryan Korby  
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