The Nationals' presidents' race occurs in the middle of the fourth inning of every home game. (Greg Fiume/Getty Images)
There will be a fifth president racing at Nationals Park in 2013: William Taft.
According to the Washington Post's Dan Steinberg, Taft will join George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson and Theodore Roosevelt for the Washington Nationals' stadium tradition, in which presidential mascots run around the warning track.
The team will introduce Taft, who will be referred to as "Bill," at Nats Fest on Saturday afternoon. The 27th president's ties to baseball include throwing out the first-ever ceremonial first pitch and "accidentally" inventing the seventh-inning stretch.
According to the Nationals, Taft was selected by Roosevelt, the man he succeeded in real life, and will have his own Twitter account.
“Teddy has handpicked the next president for the Presidents’ Race,” Nationals COO Andy Feffer said late Friday. “There was a great amount of banter and discussion back and forth, but Teddy won out with his recommendation.”
The team will refer to Taft as “Bill” and the “Big Chief,” due to his later role as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. He’ll be on Twitter at @NatsBigChief27. He’ll first meet the world at 2:15 on Saturday at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center,
where he’ll later gladhand and take photos with fans. And sometime this spring, he’ll be one of five Presidential mascots sprinting out from that outfield gate.
“Not only do I think he’ll be well-received, but he’ll add to the competition,” Feffer said. “Who knows what’ll happen next? He might even give Teddy a run for his money.”