After 449 losses (and extra innings), Celery goes out a winner - The Buffalo News

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After 449 losses (and extra innings), Celery goes out a winner

And with that, the losing streak is over.

In the last race of Celery's career, the vegetable earned its first career win.

"This is just a dream come true," Celery told The Buffalo News after the win. "The crowd was amazing. They were really behind me throughout this journey and I know I couldn’t have gotten this victory without their support for so long. I’ve never heard them louder than they were tonight. I never thought this night would come! I’m the luckiest vegetable there ever was! Thank you Buffalo and Bisons fans for everything!”

The win broke Celery's losing streak, which had stretched to 449 races over seven seasons. Celery retires with a record of 1-449.

The race was longer than normal, starting in center field, with Celery taking a huge lead. Celery momentarily was distracted by a pile of fireworks in the right field corner, as Celery is typically distracted. But Celery regrouped, split the gap between Blue Cheese and Atomic Wing to take the win.

Celery then did a victory lap to "We Are the Champions" and an enthusiastic reception from the very pro-Celery crowd.

The near-capacity crowd at Coca-Cola Field (it was about 500 short of a sellout with 16,463) had to wait longer than usual for the historic race. The event was moved to the end of the game, and the Bisons and Pawtucket went 12 innings before the PawSox won, 7-5.

Celery announced its retirement after the last race of the 2016 season making 2017 a celebration tour for Celery.

Buffalo Bisons mascot Celery reflects on upcoming retirement from popular racing circuit

Opposing ball clubs have presented Celery with gifts including a Virginia Beach vacation from the Norfolk Tides, a garbage plate from the Rochester Red Wings, and a sword, and knightship, from the Charlotte Knights.

Celery will be at Thursday's home finale, signing autographs for Fan Appreciation Night while moving from participant to spectator during the race.

The stalk will return to the ballpark in 2018 but will not race. Instead, Celery will spend more time with the fans.

The WCC Race began in 2011 and Chicken Wing has created a dynasty. Chicken Wing won the opening campaign with 41 race wins, a single-season record that still stands.

Atomic Wing joined the competition in 2012, but Chicken Wing won a second-straight race series title.

In 2013, Blue Cheese mounted a late-season run to claim the season title and snap Chicken Wing's championship run.

The title went back to Chicken Wing in 2014 along with the honor of becoming the first mascot to reach 100 career wins. Chicken Wing officially claimed dynasty status with another championship in 2015.

Last season saw several upheavals in the beloved ballpark race. Atomic Wing had an 18-game win streak but then received a three-race suspension after being found to have used an "illegal condiment" – a special hot sauce that gave Atomic Wing an unfair advantage.

After Chicken Wing rebounded to take the series for the third straight year, Celery announced 2017 would be the stalk's final year of racing.

Inside Baseball: As Celery nears finish line in Buffalo, mascot races are a rage in MLB as well

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