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Teddy the foam-headed president finally wins Nationals' mascot race

By Greg Seaby, CNN
October 3, 2012 -- Updated 2224 GMT (0624 HKT)
For the first time in more than 500 attempts, Teddy Roosevelt beats the other Mount Rushmore presidents to the finish line.
For the first time in more than 500 attempts, Teddy Roosevelt beats the other Mount Rushmore presidents to the finish line.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The mascot race involves four foam-headed caricatures of presidents
  • Teddy Roosevelt had never beat Honest Abe and crew
  • The rival Philadelphia Phillies' mascot gave him the help he needed
  • The Nationals head into the playoffs, like Teddy, on a winning streak

(CNN) -- A long-running losing streak dating back to 2006 in Washington has finally come to an end.

Theodore Roosevelt has won the presidents' race at Nationals Park after more than 500 consecutive losses.

For years, baseball fans have repeatedly watched the foam-headed version of the 26th president lose the traditional mascot footrace held during a break in the fourth inning of Nationals' home games. Fans, and even some politicians, began a public campaign to "Let Teddy Win."

The caricatures of Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and even George Washington have conspired to prevent Teddy from crossing the finish line first. But not Wednesday, the last game of the regular season against the Philadelphia Phillies.

As the presidents rounded the warning track along the right-field wall, the older three American leaders were tripped by a version of the Phillie Phanatic mascot and fell to the ground. Teddy broke free from the pack and turned the corner along the first baseline. The crowd erupted in cheers and chanted "Ted-dy, Ted-dy."

No. 26 sprinted the final stretch, winning by a wide margin. Victory belonged to the foam Rough Rider.

The president with the most victories is Lincoln, with a stunning 214 wins.

Teddy and his Washington Nationals are now both in uncharted winning territory, as playoff baseball will return to the nation's capital for the first time since 1933. The Nats clinched the National League's East Division over the weekend.

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