One of the interesting things about baseball is its lore – players, events, and traditions that have shaped the game throughout its history. Contributing to the folklore of baseball are stories like “The Curse of the Bambino,” in which the Boston Red Sox sold Babe Ruth to the Yankees in 1919 and did not win a World Series because of it until 2004. Then there’s “The Curse of the Billy Goat,” which has led to the demise of the Chicago Cubs, who have not won a World Series since 1908. And if you’re a Cleveland Indians fan, surely you’re familiar with “The Curse of Rocky Colavito,” which has led to a World Championship drought for the Indians since 1948.
Another baseball tradition that has become very popular lately is the racing mascots. In Milwaukee, there are sausages that race before the bottom of the sixth inning at every home game. In Pittsburgh, the racing pierogies are the stars, and in Tampa Bay, there are giant bottles of Pepsi products that partake in the racing mascot phenomenon. But the biggest spotlight lately has been on the Washington Nationals and their racing presidents – whimsical renditions of our Founding Fathers: Abe, Thomas, George, and Teddy.
Before the bottom of the fourth inning in all home games, the Presidents compete in a foot race that has had Teddy Roosevelt on the losing end since they began racing in 2006. He has tried using a Segway, running in the opposite direction, tying his colleagues’ shoe laces together – but no matter what he did, Teddy always lost.
Until this past Wednesday, when Teddy Roosevelt finally won in front of a packed Nationals Park!
It was the last day of the regular season, and the Nationals had already clinched the NL East title. The Nationals were losing 1-0 to the Phillies, and I think I was the only Nationals fan on Earth who was not happy that Teddy had finally won his first race ever. What are they doing? What are they thinking? This is going to turn into “The Curse of Teddy!” The Nationals are never going to win again and are going to choke in the first round of the post-season! Charlie Brown was never able to kick the football; why did Teddy have to win? I was almost outraged!
Then in the bottom of the fourth inning, the Nats’ Ryan Zimmerman hit a two-run homer. OK, they still have time to blow it – Teddy should not have won!
Then in the bottom of the sixth, Tyler Moore hits a home run. The score was 3-1.
In the bottom of the eighth, Michael Morse hit a two-run homer. The score is 5-1. All of the Nationals’ runs were scored after Teddy won his race.
So hopefully instead of “The Curse of Teddy,” we witnessed the beginning of “The Teddy Omen” and the Nationals will end up going very deep into the post-season!