WASHINGTON (AP) The Washington Nationals' newest racing president may have to drop a few pounds to be competitive.
The team said Saturday that William Howard Taft will join George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt this season for the fourth-inning race by 12-foot mascots at Nationals Park.
Taft was the portliest president at more than 300 pounds. He became the first president to throw out a ceremonial first pitch, at Washington's Griffith Stadium on April 14, 1910.
After losing more than 500 times since the team began the races in 2006, Teddy won for the first time on the final day of last year's regular season and then won again during the NL division series against St. Louis.
With Game 1 of the World Series set for Houston on Tuesday, the Nationals had limited free time in the District.
But that didn't stop Gerardo Parra on using his last free day to visit pediatric cancer patients with his wife, Tania, and the Nats mascot, Screech, at Children's National Hospital.
Parra and company handed out, what else, plush Baby Sharks to the patients, a nod to Parra's new walk-up song and Nats fans new anthem that has provided plenty of shark-clapping in arenas across DC and has even made its way to a local orchestra.
"Any time we have a chance to come here, I wanna come," Parra said of the visit. "I think the more important (thing) is the Baby Shark bring a lot of smile to the kids. So when I come here today, we see everybody when taking the Baby Shark happy, like smiling, dance to the Baby Shark, that's the point."
Parra also handed out "Stay in the Fight" t-shirts to parents and kids, an ode to the Nats' slogan throughout their playoff run.
Clearly, there will be some Baby Shark chomping action coming from Children's Hospital this World Series.
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Friendly wagers are one of the best parts of sports. They're even more fun when they involve two very good boys.
Thor, a black lab therapy dog from Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri, challenged Tabby, a German Shepherd therapy dog at Children's National Hospital in Washington, D.C., to a friendly bet on the Nats-Cardinals NLCS best of seven series. The bet was settled not too long after it began.
Since the Nationals swept the Cardinals, Thor had to wear a Nationals' bandana to work, courtesy of Tabby.
Thor does not look very amused, but at least he was a very good sport.
Hopefully, Thor will decide to cheer on the Nationals in their first-ever World Series against the Astros!
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