After more than 500 losses, Teddy Roosevelt has finally won his first Presidents Race. (Yes, the Rough Rider won the 1904 presidential election, but until today, he had never won the Washington Nationals’ mid-game Presidents Race.)
On the final day of baseball’s regular season, Teddy came from behind to beat his fellow Rushmores – George (Washington), Tom (Jefferson) and Abe (Lincoln) – to the finish line, much to the delight of the near-sellout crowd at Nationals Park.
Teddy fell behind early in the race, which is run along the warning track from the centerfield gate to the home dugout, but he received some help from an unlikely source. A green character designed to look like the Phillie Phanatic emerged from the right-field corner and took out Teddy’s competition. Perhaps the phony Phanatic empathized with Teddy’s plight; the Phillies became the first professional team to lose 10,000 games in 2007.
Teddy’s win capped a joyous week for baseball fans in Washington DC, where fans celebrated the team’s first National League East division title on Monday.