By Margaret Chadbourn
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A bitterly fought presidential race in Washington came to a head on Wednesday as Teddy Roosevelt, whose losing streak had sparked an enthusiastic fan base, finally won the crowd-pleasing mascot footrace before baseball fans at Nationals Stadium.
Since 2006, foam mascots rendering the Mount Rushmore presidents have taken to the field in a footrace during the fourth inning of the Washington Nationals home baseball games.
Until his win on Wednesday, Teddy had lost more than 500 times since the Major League baseball team started the races among Roosevelt, Abe Lincoln, George Washington and Thomas Jefferson.
Teddy finally broke his losing streak and crossed the finish line first during the Nationals' last regular season game against the Philadelphia Phillies.
The home team went on to win the game 5-1, securing the National League's top seed. It is the first postseason in Major League Baseball for the nation's capital since the Washington Senators, the team that pre-dated the Nationals, lost in the 1933 World Series.
Teddy's pitiful record had sparked a grassroots campaign to let the mascot win, and earned him a solid fan base that includes politicians on both sides of the aisle.
Earlier this week Senator John McCain gave Teddy a pep talk that was shown on video at the ballpark. The 2008 Republican presidential candidate also took to Twitter to celebrate Teddy's triumph on Wednesday, writing "Teddy won! We've defeated the massive left wing conspiracy!"
The White House has issued its own call for an end to Teddy's losing streak and public humiliation. White House press secretary Jay Carney, speaking to reporters aboard Air Force One last month, called the many consecutive losses "an outrage."
(Editing by Mohammad Zargham)
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