Depressing Team Chooses Depression President
“Herbert [bleepin’] Hoover?”
Those were the first words out of my mouth when I read the Washington Nationals had selected our 31st president as a part of their “racing presidents” gimmick at Nationals Park.
Don’t get me wrong, I was never a fan of adding “Bill” Taft in 2013 or “Silent Cal” Coolidge in 2015, but for a team looking to reignite fan interest after an ugly 2015, couldn’t we do better than the guy who had a 1-5 record when he threw out the first pitch at Washington Senators games? Oh, and he also presided over the start of the Great Depression.
The answer to that question is “No,” because cash rules everything around me: the Nationals made a deal with the White House Historical Association (WHHA) last season. The WHHA kicked things off with No. 30 Coolidge in 2015, No. 31 Hoover follows this year, then things will probably get crazy in 2017 with Teddy’s fifth cousin, Franklin (No. 32). How many Nationals employees will lose their jobs trying to decide whether FDR should sit in a wheelchair or not?
(NB: At least give the Nats/WHHA credit for skipping over Woodrow Wilson and Warren G. Harding: one was a vehement racist and the other a philandering crook.)
In any case, I wish the Nationals and the WHHA got a little more creative. Sure, learning is important, but the history of the world’s most powerful men is an entertaining one. Why settle for Hoover when you could add these guys (NB: I’ve taken the liberty of adding the race gimmick myself, since the Nationals would most likely go out of their way to make it loud and un-funny):
- William Henry Harrison: wins his first race, injures himself while celebrating, never races again
- Ulysses S. Grant: shotguns Bud Light (Official Beer Sponsor of the Washington Nationals) before every race
- Lyndon Johnson: Friday night regular, costume has protuberance in groin area
- John Tyler/James Polk/Zachary Taylor/Millard Fillmore/Franklin Pierce: primarily used during blowouts or rain delays; gives the Rushmore Four a rest on for costume cleaning
- John F. Kennedy and Bill Clinton: interchangeable guest stars who only “race” when chased by Racing Marilyn Monroe and Monica Lewinsky
- Richard Nixon: cheats every time
- George W. Bush: costume actually depicts Dick Cheney
Regardless of who you like, I think we can all agree Zombie Hoover up there needs to go — five bucks to the first Georgetown kid who steals that cranium and tosses those demon eyes down the Exorcist stairs where they belong. Let’s make baseball fun again.