Jeff Mervosh and Kate Dykgraaf kept the arrival of a very special — and very tall — guest at their wedding reception a secret from most of the 160 people in attendance on Saturday, so when the dance music stopped and the DJ started playing the theme from the HBO miniseries “John Adams”, most of their friends and family were confused.
And then Teddy of the Nationals’ Racing Presidents entered the main ballroom at STROGA in Adams Morgan.
“People started going crazy and were out-of-their-mind excited,” said Mervosh, who grew up a Twins fan but adopted the Nats as his home team after doing an internship in D.C. in 2005 and moving to the area soon after. “My grandpa, who has been a Cardinals fan for 60 years, loved meeting Teddy. My grandma danced with him for a bit. He danced all around the room.”
He danced to Miley Cyrus.
Mervosh, 29, and Dykgraaf, 30, have gone to a few Nationals games together every year since they met in 2007. They decided they wanted a Racing President to be a part of their reception after friends of friends had Abe at their wedding last summer, but they knew it was contingent upon the Nationals being out of town. On the day the Nationals’ schedule was announced and they saw that Washington would be in Oakland on the day of their wedding, they called to book Teddy for an hour.
“Teddy is definitely my favorite,” said Dykgraaf, who wasn’t much of a baseball fan before she met Mervosh and considers the Presidents Race one of the highlights of going to Nationals Park. “I think it’s his glasses-mustache combo.”
Teddy, who was accompanied by a a handler who helped him avoid walking into the ballroom’s chandeliers, was the life of the party, even if he did scare some of the kids at first.
“I was really hoping someone would take some of the attention off of me, so that worked out really well,” Dykgraaf said.