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Posted at 1:10 PM ET, 02/18/2011

Nats Racing Presidents auditions this Presidents Day weekend

By Elizabeth Flock
(Photo courtesy of Washington Nationals)

Nationals fans know well the mascots who race around the park dressed as U.S. presidents during the fourth inning. Some are tired of the gimmick, while others cheer on poor Teddy in the hopes that he'll triumph one day.

Ever wished you could don the George or Abe suit? Now's your chance. In what has become an annual tradition, the Nats will hold auditions this Presidents Day weekend for candidates who want to compete as Racing Presidents, the blog "Let Teddy Win" reported Friday.

The tryouts are this Saturday, and if previous years are anything to go by, will include a 40-yard dash, a race on the field, a dance and a demonstration of your celebration skills. Tryouts will be held rain or shine. (Last year, the auditions were held in deep, fresh snow.)

Candidates for George, Tom, Abe and Teddy must also:
• Be available for at least 35 Nationals home games
• Be between 5'7″ and 6'6″ in height
• Be able to run approximately 200 yards in 40 seconds
• Be able to wear a costume weighing about 45 lbs for several hours

That last requirement sounds scary. But if you're willing to hack it, e-mail a cover letter, résumé and recent photo to and include "2011 Racing Presidents" in the subject line. If you're lucky, you'll be one of 50 to 60 invited to audition.

If you want to know more about what you'll be getting into, watch the video of last year's audition:

By Elizabeth Flock  | February 18, 2011; 1:10 PM ET
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Where's Holly Morris when you need her.

Posted by: tslats | February 19, 2011 6:35 PM | Report abuse

Can we have just the Rushmores for our Nats' mascot and lose the cloying and annoying Screech? Please?

And while we're at it, can't we play "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" during the 7th inning stretch instead of the ever-so-maudlin and religio-jingoistic "God Bless America?" I really HATE that song (but I LOVE our real National Anthem), and "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" is one of the greatest songs ever written, and is specifically FOR the 7th inning stretch.

Posted by: FergusonFoont | February 20, 2011 10:24 AM | Report abuse

@Ferguson: Agree with you but it's not historically true that Take Me Out.... was intended for the 7th inning stretch.

Its author had never been to a ballgame when he wrote the song, after having been inspired by an advertisement he saw on an elevated train for a New York Giants game at the Polo Grounds that afternoon.

Until relatively recently, it was not the custom of most teams to play Take Me Out . . . at the 7th inning stretch. When I was a kid in New York, where the song was written, it was played at neither Yankees nor Mets games in the 1960s and 1970s. And for many years, John Denver's "Country Boy" was the 7th inning music at Baltimore's Memorial Stadium.

But for sure -- God Bless America has got to go. The 7th inning stretch is time for fun, not patriotism.

Posted by: Meridian1 | February 20, 2011 10:41 AM | Report abuse

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