William Howard Taft joins Nats' president dash

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A person dressed as William Howard Taft, center, the 27th President of the United States, is introduced as the newest participant in the Washington Nationals\' Presidents Race during a baseball event at NatsFest at the Washington Convention Center in Washington, Saturday, Jan. 26, 2013. The team said Saturday that Taft will join, from left, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln this season for the fourth-inning race by 12-foot mascots. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)


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.