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Teddy Wins! Washington Nationals Mascot Snaps 525-Game Losing Streak

As monumental as the Washington Nationals' first trip to Major League Baseball's playoffs has been, this news may come close in importance for some fans in the nation's capital:

Teddy, one of the team's four presidential mascots, finally won a "race" today.

For seven seasons and 525 home games, Teddy had always lost in races around the Nats' stadium against the faster and seemingly smarter Abe (as in Lincoln), George (Washington) and Tom (Jefferson).

A fierce debate had grown. Should the team Let Teddy Win! (as the blog by that name demanded) or would that tempt fate and ruin the rapidly rising Nats' fortunes?

The White House got involved — spokesman Jay Carney called Teddy's losing streak an "outrage." Sen. John McCain, the 2008 Republican presidential nominee, gave Teddy a pep talk — and said he was the victim of a "vast left-wing conspiracy by the commie pinko libs in this town."

Well this afternoon in D.C., Teddy did it. Coming from way behind, and with a little help from what appears to have been a fake "Philly Phanatic," Teddy broke the tape first during the mascots' dash.

And has that jinxed the team? Maybe not. The next Nat to come to the plate, Ryan Zimmerman, hit a home run. Two teammates followed with doubles. As of this moment, in the seventh inning, Washington leads Philadelphia 3-1.

McCain, or at least the person who handles his Twitter account, is thrilled:

"#Teddy won! #Teddy won! #Teddy won! We've defeated the massive left wing conspiracy!"

Update at 4:15 p.m. ET: The Nats won today's game, 5-1.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Mark Memmott is NPR's supervising senior editor for Standards & Practices. In that role, he's a resource for NPR's journalists – helping them raise the right questions as they do their work and uphold the organization's standards.