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The newest Washington Nationals racing president is…..William Howard Taft

Jan 27, 2013, 12:10 PM EDT

William Howard Taft Getty Images

We here at Off The Bench have done our best to cover the Washington Nationals Presidents’ Race over the years and for the upcoming 2013 season, there will be a fifth member joining the team of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt in running for glory during the 7th inning stretch of Nationals home games.

Yesterday during the team’s annual fan event called “Nats Fest”, the Nationals organization revealed that the 27th President of the United States, William Howard Taft will be the newest racing president.

During his time in office from 1909-1913, Taft was a fan of the game and was even credited with being the first president to throw out a first pitch at a professional game in 1910.

One of the interesting notes during his time in office was his rivalry with fellow racing president Teddy Roosevelt and for those of you who aren’t American history majors, here’s a quick recap:

Roosevelt had entrusted Taft with both the presidency and control of the then-ascendant Republican Party when he left office. But the Colonel later soured on Taft’s record and leadership, and decided to challenge him in the 1912 primaries.

“It is a bad trait to bite the hand that feeds you,” Roosevelt said in April 1912, complaining that Taft “has not merely in thought, word, and deed been disloyal to our past friendship, but has been disloyal to every canon of ordinary decency and fair dealing.”

“The memory of the names Mr. Roosevelt has called me still lingers in my ears,” Taft said the following month. “Since the time he began his personal attacks on me he has used all the epithets he could think of, and all the names in the calendar, such as no President has ever been subjected to by a man who has had two terms in that office.”

Roosevelt trounced Taft in the primaries. But Taft still controlled the party machinery, and took down Roosevelt at the convention. Roosevelt then ran as a third-party candidate, dooming the Republicans to defeat and allowing Woodrow Wilson to take office nearly a century ago.

Hopefully, the two will be able that rivalry into the near future…


Nats name William Howard Taft as new racing president [The Washington Post]