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Nats mascot taps Old Guard for first race win

Oct. 3, 2012 - 02:55PM   |   Last Updated: Oct. 3, 2012 - 02:55PM  |  
Washington Nationals mascot Teddy Roosevelt trains with soldiers in his bid to finally win one race against his presidential rivals.
Washington Nationals mascot Teddy Roosevelt trains with soldiers in his bid to finally win one race against his presidential rivals. (Army)
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Finally, it's Teddy Roosevelt's year.

After more than 500 losses in seven seasons, Washington Nationals mascot Teddy Roosevelt edged out fellow Mount Rushmore residents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln to win his first Presidents Race today in the team's final game of the regular baseball season.

Last week, in anticipation of a playoff spot, Teddy eschewed fancy personal trainers or a P90X box set for some old school PT with soldiers of the 3rd Infantry Regiment on Sept. 26.

The Presidents Race is held during fourth inning of every Nationals home game. All four mascots race from center field to the first base foul pole, then down the foul line toward the Nationals' dugout.

To date, Abraham Lincoln leads the mascots with 151 wins, followed by Thomas Jefferson at 108 and George Washington at 95.

"Since Teddy is a veteran we realized what he needed was a little Army training to get back into fighting shape," Ash McCall wrote in an Army Live blog.

President Theodore Roosevelt wasn't just a statesman and Nobel Prize winner, he was also the only president to have ever received the Medal of Honor, for valor in combat as a lieutenant colonel in the Spanish American War.

Roosevelt also created the first Volunteer Cavalry Regiment, dubbed the Rough Rider Regiment.

"…because of our commitment to our Soldiers, past and present, we reached out to Teddy to remind him of his Rough Rider days and to reiterate our Warrior Ethos, ‘I will never leave a fallen comrade (no matter how many times he has fallen, tripped, or been knocked down)' — even if the person knocking you down is the Father of our Nation," McCall added.

Even politicians have weighed in on Teddy's winless streak, including the Armed Services Committee's ranking Republican Sen. John McCain, who appeared in an ESPN mockumentary on the "Let Teddy Win" movement.

"I've been paying a lot of attention to the fact that one of the truly great presidents in history has never won a race," McCain says in the film. "I am outraged. That's why I am calling for congressional hearings to right this horrible wrong."

McCain made another appearance for Teddy in a video played during the Nationals' Oct. 1 game.

"Teddy, you are the victim of a vast left-wing conspiracy by the commie pinko libs in this town," McCain joked. "But you can overcome that."

President Obama's staff has weighed in as well.

"This is an outrage," said White House spokesman Jay Carney. "I agree with Sen. McCain, I'm comfortable saying my boss agrees with Sen. McCain."

The Nationals clinched the National League East division title Oct. 1, giving Teddy his first postseason shot at a win when the team returns to Washington for game 3 of the National League Division Series on Oct. 9 or 10, depending on how their record shakes out after today.

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