Photos By Armando Gallardo, Words By Brandon Wetherbee
How has this not been in VEEP? Or House of Cards? Or Alpha House? Or the plot of Major League 4?
The Congressional Baseball Game for Charity is one of the most unique and absurd D.C. political traditions. It’s a chance to see Congressmen and one Congresswoman play baseball in a Major League Baseball stadium. It’s the best chance to witness interns cheering and jeering for their Congressperson. It’s a debacle of a VIP section. It’s the only time Nationals Park hosts a baseball game and is filled with people that do not really care about baseball.
The Congressional Baseball Game has been a mostly annual tradition since 1909. Roll Call has been sponsoring it since 1962. Before last week’s game, the all time record was 38-38-1 Democrats and 38-38-1 Republicans. The Democrats won Thursday’s game 5-2 to take a one game lead but that’s not what this game is about.
Proceeds from the game go towards The Washington Literacy Center, Boys and Girls Club of Greater Washington and The Nationals Dream Foundation. Children from the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Washington appeared to be the only attendees that aren’t working for, covering or related to people working for or covering the game. It’s about raising money for charity. And for interns to make and hold up signs.
For the first time in recent history, the game was actually good. Rep. Cedric L. Richmond (D-La) pitched again for the Dems and was obviously the best player on the field, yet again. He pitched a complete game (7 innings because 7 innings is more than enough for a non-professional game), hit a double when he wasn’t intentionally walked and was the difference maker for two, not nearly as bad as they usually are teams. After scoring two early runs, the game was tight until the Dems blew it open after a surprise visit from President Obama.
Obama showed up while the Repbulicans were mounting a potential comeback. Presidential candidate Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky) was at the plate. The Republicans were threatening to score with runners at second and third. They were only down 1. Paul struck out. It was the last play Obama saw. Shortly after watching Paul not lead his party to victory, he tweeted this…
I challenged them to a race. pic.twitter.com/FpEUTnYgoD
— President Obama (@POTUS) June 12, 2015
The in game highlight came from Rep. Linda T. Sanchez (D-Calif.). Her pinch hitting garnered the largest crowd reaction. It was deserved. She faced one pitch and hit a solid single to right field. The only woman in the game wore a roman numeral on her jersey rather than a number. It was IX, a reference to Title IX.
Attention producers of VEEP, House of Cards and Alpha House, you’re missing the best political event under the lights.
Some of our favorite signs