On Wednesday at Nationals Park, Teddy Roosevelt won the Presidents’ Race for the first time since the mascot competition began in 2006, ending a rough ride of 525 losses.
During every Nats home game, foam likenesses of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt race around the outside of the diamond, and poor ol’ Teddy loses every time. Until now.
“Most people who know anything about Teddy Roosevelt would assume that he would absolutely kick Thomas Jefferson’s butt in a foot race,” said Scott Ableman, who started the blog ‘Let Teddy Win!’ and was on the sidelines for the president’s first victory.
“When the Nationals created this live-action president’s race, it became clear fairly quickly that Teddy was going to be portrayed as this lovable loser,” Ableman said. “The notion that a whole generation of people would be brought up with that impression of Teddy Roosevelt really rubbed some of us the wrong way.”
Consequently, Ableman’s blog promoted a Teddy victory and speculated on the conspiracy to keep the 26th president from winning. After Teddy’s first victory, the blog adopted a celebratory tone.
“There are some rumors out there that the Nationals want to retire teddy Roosevelt now,” Ableman said. “I think that would be a tragedy.”
Some fans were superstitious about Teddy’s victory, but Ableman said he wasn’t worried about a jinx.
“Teddy won his first race, and immediately afterward, the Nationals had a home run, followed by a double and another RBI double, to which I said, ‘See what happens when you let Teddy win?’” Ableman said. “My hope is that a continued string of Teddy victories are going to take the Nationals through the World Series.”