William Howard Taft unveiled as the new racing president

John McDonnell/TWP

John McDonnell/TWP

The Nationals introduced new players such as Dan Haren and Denard Span to the public on Saturday, had Ian Desmond sign autographs and Tyler Clippard pose for photos, and generated buzz for the upcoming season at Saturday’s Nats Fest at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. They also unveiled the newest addition to their on-field team: William Howard Taft as their fifth racing president.

On the stage in the main ballroom of the event, the first mascot addition since 2006 was shown to the public for the first time. Taft, nicknamed “Big Chief,” later met posed for photos with fans. The 12-foot-tall mascot joins George, Tom, Abe and Teddy.

Asked about Taft’s addition, Jayson Werth, who championed Teddy’s cause when all he did was lose, deadpanned: “I haven’t actually heard yet. You just ruined it. Whatever.”

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