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No. 26: Nats' Most Lovable Loser

Despite his best efforts, Teddy Roosevelt is 0 for 280 in the Presidents Race. (Courtesy Washington Nationals)

In the last home game of the season, Teddy Roosevelt lost the Washington Nationals' Presidents Race. Really, what did you expect? He's never, ever won.

The big foam loser has blown 280 races since 2006, when the presidents began the fourth-inning competition. The gimmick is always how the fan favorite blows it: On Wednesday afternoon, Teddy failed to get the memo that the finish line had been moved from right field to left field; only George Washington had the intel, so he handily won.

We found TR on the entrance plaza directly after the race and confronted him -- and yes, we looked about as ridiculous doing this as you're imagining. Even more humiliating: He just shook his big foam head. No comment.

Which means we can provide no definitive explanation to Teddy's mysterious absence last week from four races. The official explanation from the Nats: hamstring injury. But Scott Ableman, season ticket-holder from Virginia and founder of the "Let Teddy Win!" blog, alleges a classic Washington coverup at the park. "A number of insiders sent their theories and tips," he told us. "There were several reports about problems with his costume. It's apparent that the frame inside the foam head broke."

Scott Ableman, author of the "Let Teddy Win" blog, was pictured on a Washington Nationals season ticket this year. (Courtesy Scott Ableman)Enlarge Image

Ableman, 45, has obsessively followed the Presidents Race since 2007 -- his blog chronicles every race with video or pictures. Teddy always loses, cheats or is disqualified for some reason: Ableman's favorites are the time Teddy got a rogue panther to tackle the other foam presidents (Teddy was disqualified for "Illegal Use of a Feline") and the time he stopped in the middle of the race to Twitter ("no one can stop me!").

The "Let Teddy Win" campaign landed Ableman's photo on a Nats ticket this year, and earned a growing fan base for his blog. But will the team ever let Teddy score a victory?

"Stan Kasten insists he will win," said Ableman. "My readers speculate it will be when they have a winning season or make the playoffs." Which means ... ever? "I am the eternal Nats optimist," he said.

By The Reliable Source  |  October 1, 2009; 1:04 AM ET
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Will you check out the truth to this item?

Posted by: eyemakeupneeded1 | October 1, 2009 5:50 AM | Report abuse

I think you need to go to more games. Teddy was allowed to win a race this year. I believe it was during the Phillies game on Sept 17th.

Posted by: Muca | October 1, 2009 11:12 AM | Report abuse

@Muca, the Nationals were on the road on September 17th. Perhaps you're thinking of September 8th, when Teddy Roosevelt did cross the finish line first, but was quickly disqualified for cheating:

Posted by: LetTeddyWin_com | October 1, 2009 1:05 PM | Report abuse

I missed that part, I guess I was celebrating to much. So when Teddy gets jumped by a fox or tripped by Abe or pushed by George or blocked by Tom, it fair? But add one lowly cat, who you could never trust anyway, and you're out. Something does not smell right here.

Posted by: Muca | October 1, 2009 2:06 PM | Report abuse was so funny watching the Pres races at the game...

Like at one of the Boston Red Sox games and Teddy was about to win (I know we lost by double digits that game...heh)...Abe came from out of NOWHERE and socks the crap out of him as he's approaching the finish line and they let Abe win!


There must be a deeper meaning as to why they rarely let Teddy win those races because he should have won several of them...if you go to enough games to witness the races.

Posted by: cbmuzik | October 1, 2009 2:43 PM | Report abuse

Completely agreed. When Abe Cheats, he doesn't get disqualified!

Posted by: LetTeddyWin_com | October 1, 2009 4:22 PM | Report abuse

any reason why my comment about Abe socking Teddy to win at a game was deleted?

wonder what WaPo is up to...

Posted by: cbmuzik | October 1, 2009 4:42 PM | Report abuse

The "Reliable Source" is not so reliable. In a September 8th loss to the Phillies by a score of 5-3, Teddy won the race for the first time in Nats history. I was there and saw it along with a few thousand other fans. How can you publish such incorrect information under the title "Reliable Source." Don't you check your facts? Even "light" topics need to be accurate. This seems to be symptomatic of the whole Wash Post over the past decade -- a steady decline in reliable and objective reporting. I am EXTREMELY disappointed and this is one more straw on the camels back of canceling my Post subsciption. Not cancelling yet, but this gets me closer.

Posted by: macaleerb | October 2, 2009 8:28 AM | Report abuse

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