Scoreboard Races: National League

As we continue on with Part Two of our Scoreboard Races database, we proudly present you with our absolute favorite scoreboard race so far: The Washington Nationals' board at RFK Stadium. We'll let a reader explain this one:

"One of the three dollar guys is eliminated in a mishap early in the race, which is followed by a not-terribly-close race to the finish line by the two survivors.

The three variations are:

(i) Abe stops to take photos of the Lincoln Memorial. George wins. (ii) George spins out. Alex wins.(iii) Alex stops to withdraw money at a conveniently-located trackside PNC Bank ATM machine. Abe wins.

This year, though, they've changed it. This time, the competitors are the Mount Rushmore presidents (Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt). This time, the race is a foot race, and the mishaps are a good deal less pleasant.

That's right: We have our first unnecessarily violent scoreboard race. The details, along with the rest of the National League, is after the jump.

NATIONAL LEAGUE

East

Atlanta Braves (Turner Field)
Competitors: Sponsored by Home Depot, it's a saw, a hammer and a drill.
Field Of Battle: The basepaths.
Notes: Unconfirmed reports say the tools have been replaced by a paint brush, roller and paint can.

Florida Marlins (Dolphins Stadium)
Competitors: Billy the Marlin and his elderly parents.
Field Of Battle: Some sort of undetermined body of water.

New York Mets (Shea Stadium)
Competitors: Pizza delivery truck drivers.
Field Of Battle: From various parts of the city to Shea Stadium.
Notes: This used to be airplanes from nearby LaGuardia Airport, but the team ended that promotion after 9/11.

Philadelphia Phillies
Competitors: Septa city trains.
Field Of Battle: Underground mass transit system.

Washington Nationals (RFK Stadium)
Competitors: George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and Alexander Hamilton.
Field Of Battle: Roads past Washington D.C. monuments.
Notes:: From a reader: "One of the three dollar guys is eliminated in a mishap early in the race, which is followed by a not-terribly-close race to the finish line by the two survivors.

The three variations are:

(i) Abe stops to take photos of the Lincoln Memorial. George wins. (ii) George spins out. Alex wins.(iii) Alex stops to withdraw money at a conveniently-located trackside PNC Bank ATM machine. Abe wins.

This year, though, they've changed it. This time, the competitors are the Mount Rushmore presidents (Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt). This time, the race is a foot race, and the mishaps are a good deal less pleasant.

The same race was repeated for each of the Nationals' first two games this year. In order: (i) George trips over a wooden street closure barrier and falls to his face. (ii) Teddy falls to his presumed death through an unfortunately-placed open manhole cover. (iii) Abe starts picking up orange traffic cones and hurling them at Tom. After two misses, Abe succeeds in braining Jefferson with a direct hit to the back of the head, and Tom topples to the ground. (iv) Abe crosses the finish line. No close finishes here, either, as only one president survives the race.

The 2006 races also make the promise that fans can influence the race by cheering."

Central

Chicago Cubs (Wrigley Field)
(Despite several early Cubs fans protests, there were/are scoreboard races at Wrigley Field. A reader clues us in:)

"Since I can remember - 2003 Races (This was pre-newish video board below the old scoreboard)
There were 2 races:
1) Craftsman Lawnmower Race
2) Elite Truck Rental Race
These were from the same exact graphic set, so they're fairly easy to describe. It was a race of 2 trucks or lawnmowers in which participant #1 was the a truck (filled in with "color") and #2 was an outline of a truck. The race would start and the trucks would basically stand still on the screen. They'd then alternate moving forward & backward to show "progress" until a finish line magically appeared on the screen and a winner was crowned. Naturally, I would always bet on truck #2 because he was carrying less weight (I'm not positive, but I believe they simply alternated the winner each day).

2004-2005 (they installed a higher quality video board to improve those revenue numbers)
1) Craftsman Lawnmower Race
This race is between a gray lawnmower and a red one around the playing field of a virtual Wrigley [always on grass, of course]. They'd start in front of the visitors dugout, race toward the RF corner & around the outfield wall. When they got to the LF corner, for some strange reason they'd team up to spell "CRAFTSMAN" in the grass, then the race would end in front of the Cubs dugout.

2) Sports Authority Race
This is a race around the bases by "Batty," "Bally," and "Glovey." Fairly simple concept but at each base the leader at the time would either stop (so the other two would run into him), or accidentally overrun the base (thus falling into 3rd). The overhead view of the race from 3rd to home was always interesting because all 3 moved much slower than they had getting from the plate to third base.

So, don't let anybody give you the "Historic Wrigley Field" bs. .. everybody loves/does scoreboard races."

Cincinnati Reds (Great American Ball Park)
Competitors<: Mr. Red, Rosie Red and Mr. Red Leg (old school version of Mr. Red, distinguishable by his mustache).
Field Of Battle: Racetrack.
Notes: Goofy-ass new mascot Gapper makes an occasional appearance in the race by opening a Skyline Chili stand in the middle of the racetrack, distracting one of the racers with his Chili.

Houston Astros (Enron Field)
Competitors: Different colors of Humvee.
Field of Battle: The oil fields of Iraq. OK, not really; it's actually an off-road track.

Milwaukee Brewers (Miller Park)
Competitors: The Hot Dog, The Bratwurst, The Polish Sausage and the Italian Sausage.
Field of Battle: On the actual diamond.
Notes: This is, of course, done live, with people in costumes. Former Pirate Randall Simon might remember this well.

Pittsburgh Pirates (PNC Park)
Competitors: Different flavors of pirogues: Jalapeno Hanna, Oliver Onion, Sauerkraut Saul and Cheese Chester.
Field Of Battle: The Streets of Pittsburgh. Finish line is entrance to stadium.

St. Louis Cardinals (New Busch Stadium)
(So far, the new Busch Stadium has no race, though, to be fair, the stadium in only about two weeks old. We're gonna expect a race - presumably something involving the Casino Queen - by end of season)

West
Arizona Diamondbacks (Chase Field)
Competitors: Hot dog toppings: Ketchup, Mustard and Relish.
Field Of Battle: Around the bases.

Colorado Rockies (Coors Field)
Competitors: Pigs on Harley-Davidson motorcycles.
Field Of Battle: Roads up and through the Rocky Mountains.

Los Angeles Dodgers (Dodger Stadium)
Competitors: Sports cars.
Field Of Battle: Throughout the city of Los Angeles.

San Diego Padres (Petco Park)
Competitors: Sailboats piloted by the Friar mascot.
Field Of Battle: The ocean, we think.

San Francisco Giants (AT&T Park)
Competitors: Cable cars.
Field Of Battle: Streets of San Francisco.

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