Move over, George Washington. There’s a new President in town.
At Nationals Park, more specifically.
Although he last sought office in 1924, President Calvin Coolidge will run again on Friday night — the eve of his 143rd birthday, which is on Independence Day — as part of the Washington Nationals’ regular in-game tradition, “The Racing Presidents,” in which mascots representing past commanders-in-chief sprint down the sideline.
The group already includes George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt and William Howard Taft.
Roosevelt and Taft themselves — well, their mascot representatives — even tweeted about it Wednesday.
So why was Coolidge the latest addition?
The White House Historical Association partnered with the Nationals to promote their new annual Christmas ornament design, which features references to Coolidge, who was the first President to light the national Christmas tree in 1923. But because Coolidge also has ties to the National Pastime — he was the first President to attend a World Series opener and also was the first to throw out the first pitch — the association reached out to the local ballclub.
“We thought, what a great thing it would be if we could partner with the Washington Nationals and tell that story,” said Stewart D. McLaurin, the association’s president. “The Nationals were excited about it.”
Nicknamed “Silent Cal” for his frugal and serious nature, Coolidge served as the 30th President of the United States from 1923 to 1929. He was President during the Roaring ’20s and assumed office following the sudden death of President Warren G. Harding.
Coolidge, a Republican, was known for his conservative values, favoring tax cuts and limited government spending.
However, not everyone was happy with the addition of Coolidge to the President’s Race.
There’s no answer yet from the Nationals as to whether Teddy will continue to place last in the race.