WASHINGTON – Teddy Roosevelt has won the Presidents Race at Nationals Park, ending a streak of more than 500 consecutive losses to either Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson or George Washington.
The race occurred in the middle of the fourth inning Wednesday during the Nationals final regular season game against the Philadelphia Phillies.
The game’s very next batter, Washington third baseman Ryan Zimmerman, hit a homer leading off the bottom of the fourth for the home team’s first run of the afternoon. The hitter after that, Michael Morse, doubled and eventually scored, too.
Teddy’s triumph is the latest in a streak of unprecedented success for the Nationals.
They clinched their first NL East division title Monday and are bringing postseason Major League Baseball to the nation’s capital for the first time since the Washington Senators lost in the 1933 World Series.
The sport was missing from Washington for more than three decades until MLB moved the Montreal Expos to D.C. before the 2005 season. The next year, the club began holding the Presidents Race, modeled after mascot runs held at baseball games in Milwaukee (where sausages "compete") and Pittsburgh (where it’s pierogies).
For some time, there was a growing campaign by some fans _ and folks in high places _ to allow Roosevelt’s entry to finally finish first.
Aboard Air Force One during a trip to Florida last month, White House press secretary Jay Carney playfully called Teddy’s losing streak "an outrage" and also noted he was "comfortable saying" that President Barack Obama agreed with the sentiment.