WASHINGTON — Sharks, presidents and an eagle. There sure are a lot of costumed characters running around Nationals Park, and that's not just during Halloween. Tracking down the official mascot of the Washington Nationals isn't easy, but here's a breakdown of who you might see around the ballpark.
Screech the Eagle
What's more patriotic than an American bald eagle? A bald eagle representing America's beloved pastime, baseball.
It's only fitting that a bald eagle, the official bird for the United States, is also the official mascot for the nation's pastime in the nation's capitol. Meet Screech.
According to the official team website, Screech is the only mascot for the baseball team. "Hatched" on a beautiful spring day at RFK stadium -- April 17th, 2005 to be exact, Screech was designed by fourth-grader Glenda Gutierrez following a mascot contest with the birth of the new team.
The 6'2 bald eagle rocks #00 on a Nats jersey and wears a Nats hat everywhere he goes, loves gummy worms, and his favorite band is -- of course -- the Eagles. In 2009, Screech got a slight makeover when Major League Baseball's design department made him slightly skinnier and gave him different arms... or uh, wings.
Screech isn't the only eagle in the District sports universe, however. He's actually the third, following behind D.C. United's Talon and the Capitals mascot Slapshot.
While Screech might be the official mascot for the Nationals, the unofficial mascot of this year's season has been a baby shark. What started out as a request from Gerardo Parro's kids for his walkup song in June soon turned into a movement. Fan-favorite choreography has taken over gamedays, complete with organists blasting the tune around Nats park and players hand gesturing a shark chomp whose size depends on how many bases they got on.
During Game 3 of the World Series, baby shark even got to meet the four president mascots who race in the fourth inning. Baby shark helped Teddy secure the win after distracting the other presidents, giving the 26th president his 36th race win this season.
Nats fans, I think we can all agree we are happy to see what baby shark has do-do-do-done for team spirit this year.
The four racing presidents:
Speaking of those big-headed world leaders, every fourth inning during a home game, the Nationals host the Presidents Race, a mascot run between the four presidents seen on Mount Rushmore: Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson, George Washington and Teddy Roosevelt.
The race has been a team tradition since July 21, 2006 -- about a year after our dear Screech was hatched. The mascots can also be seen wandering around Nats Park before and after the race as well, which is why you might see one of their giant heads poking around food vendors.