The Theodore Roosevelt mascot ended his 525-round losing streak in the foot race at the Washington Nationals baseball game today. Enthusiasts at Sagamore Hill, TR’s home until 1919 and now a National Historic Site in Oyster Bay, N.Y., were thrilled.
“Holy smokes,” Virginia Perrell, a volunteer at the national park, said. “That’s great that TR won. Maybe that’s a special thing that may mean well for the election. Who knows?”
Amy Verone, the curator at Sagamore Hill, said, “Well, frankly, we thought he was being sabotaged.”
Why’s that, you ask? “TR is the kind of guy who would usually be in the front of the line, let’s just say,” she said. “We’re surprised that he just hasn’t won sooner. Especially against Jefferson–he’s not really known for his athletic ability.”
Verone, who earned a Master of Arts in American Studies at George Washington University, lived in the District of Columbia for 11 years and is originally from Pittsburgh, she said.
“I was reading some of the coverage about TR’s win today and talking about some of the accidents he’s had in the past and how he was supposedly sabotaged by a Pierogi,” she said. The Pittsburgh Pierogi Race is a mascot race between innings at Pittsburgh Pirates games, first held in 1999.
“We were pretty sure there was sort of a conspiracy to keep him from winning and we’re glad he overcame that,” Verone said. “I think the only thing he’d object to is that you all call him Teddy. He didn’t like that. He liked being called TR.”
Update 3:45 p.m.: Rick Marschall, author of Bully!: The Life and Times of Theodore Roosevelt, had this to say about the turnaround:
Jefferson is pretty revered in American history, Roosevelt detested as a man and as a president. So if there were any spirits hovering over those races before today, TR must’ve been galled that he never beat Jefferson. On the other hand, he wouldn’t have minded losing to Lincoln.
Either way, justice is done. He’s finally starting to be appreciated for his place at the top of so many categories. After all, he’s probably the most robust and muscular of the presidents we’ve had.
Scott Ableman, founder and operator of Let Teddy Win! had the following comment:
The Nationals have corrected a great injustice, and put an end to the last losing tradition at Nationals Park. I’m counting on Teddy to go undefeated in the postseason.
From the blog Let Teddy Win!:
He did it!
Wearing golden shoes he received as a gift from the #Nats in the 3rd inning, Teddy Roosevelt dodged a fake Philly Phanatic to take his first presidents race at Nationals Park. Photos videos and all the Details to follow after the game!
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) responds via Twitter to Teddy’s win:
— John McCain (@SenJohnMcCain) October 3, 2012