It took him until final game of the Washington Nationals’ 2012 season, but Teddy Roosevelt finally won the Presidents Race held at Nationals Park.
The Presidents Race has been a main attraction aside from the Nationals at their home stadium, where Teddy never won a race in the nearly six years since Washington started the promotion (he was 0 for 524 before winning Wednesday.) Teddy’s ineptitude has helped the team’s marketing department draw attention to the race.
The race features the presidents whose faces adorn Mount Rushmore (George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt,) with people with oversized presidents’ heads running the race.
Teddy’s losing streak prompted Scott Ableman to set up the blog Let Teddy Win!, sparking a national campaign for Teddy to have his first victory.
Teddy had to overcome a fake Philly Phanatic (the mascot of the Philadelphia Phillies) to win the race in the final game of the season.
Ableman said he experienced “relief” and “excitement” after Teddy won.
“When the Phillie Phanatic showed up, I knew he was gonna win,” Ableman told the Washington Post. “There was no way they would let the Phillie Phanatic take out Teddy Roosevelt.”
Teddy’s first win puts him 213 victories behind Abraham Lincoln for the all-time lead in the race, according to this info-graphic from the Washington Post.
The Twitterverse blew up with reactions to Teddy winning his first race.
“I can't imagine anything bigger can happen in baseball today than Teddy Roosevelt winning his first President's Race in DC,” wrote ESPN’s Jayson Stark.
“Teddy's going to get a big head after this win,” said Kylie Sobel.
Twitter user Chris Brockman wrote, “fair to say he picked himself up by his boot straps.”
U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., who has been outspoken about Teddy’s losing streak, relished the victory for his fellow Republican.
“#Teddy won! #Teddy won! #Teddy won! We've defeated the massive left wing conspiracy!” McCain quipped.