The Washington Times - January 26, 2013, 08:58AM

The Washington Nationals announced Friday night that they’d “agreed to terms” with William Howard Taft, “pending physical,” to become the fifth president in the team’s gameday Presidents’ Race.

This is the first addition the Nationals have ever made to the mid-game race and the team expects to unveil their newest mascot at their Nats Fest on Saturday.

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Taft, our country’s 27th President, was always the opportunist, rising to the highest post in the land by always having his “plate the right side up when offices were falling,” as he once jokingly put it. He was also the first U.S. President to throw out a ceremonial first pitch, which he did on Opening Day, 1910, right here in The District. Legend also has it that Taft “invented” the seventh-inning stretch, when he stood up to stretch at a game and the crowd around him followed suit.

Once great allies, he and Roosevelt tussled over policy matters following Taft’s ascension to the Presidency in 1912. That led Roosevelt to run as a third-party candidate against the man that had succeeded him as Commander in Chief, ultimately costing both men the chance to return to the Oval Office. Later in life, the two reconciled, leaving the question open as to whether they will work in concert to try to win in 2013, or if their feuding will cost each a chance at victory.

You may remember that it was seemingly tradition for Teddy to lose the Presidents’ race, but as the Nationals ascended to the top of the baseball world last fall, Teddy’s losing streak was broken. He won on the final day of the regular season and then at all three of the home games the Nationals’ hosted in the playoffs.