Baseball Team Flunks History With William Howard Taft Mascot

A baseball team flunks history when it picks a portly former president to serve as the next participant in its famous mascot races.

The team, the Washington Nationals, named William Howard Taft as the next mascot to join its race around the stadium each game. The team said that it allowed its Theodore Roosevelt mascot select the next entrant, but history buffs said that would have never been Taft.

The National Constitution Center explains why the baseball team flunks history:

“If you’re not a history buff, Taft was Roosevelt’s vice president until they had a bitter election feud in 1912 that tore apart the Republican Party.”It was so bitter that Roosevelt survived an assassination attempt and made a 90-minute speech with a bullet in his chest, rather than quit his fight against his former vice president.”

It may have been that TR picked Taft as a racing companion as a way to unleash some of those bad feelings, but a release from the Nationals seems to imply otherwise.

“Teddy has handpicked the next president for the Presidents’ Race,” Nationals COO Andy Feffer told The Washington Post on Friday. “There was a great amount of banter and discussion back and forth, but Teddy won out with his recommendation.”

In fact, Roosevelt had some bitter words for Taft when they two were political rivals.

“(He) 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,” Roosevelt said.

The baseball team flunks history again at Taft’s mascot unveiling, the National Constitution Center noted. The mascot looked about 100 pounds trimmer than the famously fat president.