House Democrats may not be able to reclaim the majority for another decade because of redistricting, but for as long as Rep. Cedric L. Richmond, D-La., is an elected official, theyre certain to reign supreme on the baseball diamond.
Former Rep. Zach Wamps baseball career included an MVP award, an inside-the-park home run, a hitting streak that spanned the length of his tenure on the diamond and a batting average better than .500. Not bad for a self-described B-minus athlete.
Rep. Adam Smith said his baseball career ended as a kid because he was too hard on himself a condition the Washington Democrat chalked up to the mental issues of a child who simply took the game too seriously.
For Antonio Ward, the hardest part was admitting that he couldnt read. I did well in elementary school, but not in middle school, he said. I couldnt read like the other kids. By high school, I was ashamed. I was getting older and hanging with the wrong kind of kids. Ward dropped out of high school. He tried to get into a GED program but could not pass the assessment test.
While Republicans have dominated the Congressional Baseball Game over the past half-century, 33-18-1 in the Roll Call era, Democrats go into this years matchup as the odds-on favorite to continue their four-game winning streak, led by Rep. Cedric L. Richmond on the mound. For the past two years, the congressman from Louisiana has served gumbo thats too hot for Republican batters.
Natitude has hit Washingtonians hard with the kickoff of the Major League Baseball season and fans rooting for the Nationals to bring home World Series rings. But everyone knows the one championship you can count on at Nationals Park is on June 13, when Democrats and Republicans face off for the 52nd Annual CQ Roll Call Congressional Baseball Game.
In one of the most partisan days on Capitol Hill in recent memory, Democrats retaliated against Republicans on the diamond, holding their GOP colleagues in baseball contempt just hours after Republicans had done the same with their attorney general.
There are Hall of Famers like Hank Aaron, who piled up massive numbers over long careers. And there are Hall of Famers like Bill Mazeroski, who had nice careers but earned their enshrinement based on singular moments. This years CQ Roll Call Congressional Baseball Hall of Fame inductee falls into the latter category.
Like any newer franchise, the Washington Nationals have faced challenges: finding talent, building a stadium and cultivating a fan base in a city dominated by two of Americas other favorite sports politics and football.
In the 51st Annual CQ Roll Call Congressional Baseball Game, the Democrats secret weapon is out of the bag. First-term Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-La.) took to the mound in last summers game and surprised the Republicans with his pitching skills, keeping the GOP hitless into the sixth inning and carrying the Democrats to an 8-2 victory.
He shrugs it off as just a nickname. But his teammates dont. Everyone on the team has a nickname; mines J-Rod, Rep. Jared Polis said, shaking off even a glimmer of comparison with MLB star Alex Rodriguez. Polis acknowledges his skill, even if he doesnt tout the irony of being paired with the oft-reviled but Hall of Fame-worthy Yankee.
As Members of Congress begin preparing for this summers 51st Annual CQ Roll Call Congressional Baseball Game, Republicans are faced with two challenges: replacing their longtime pitching ace and neutralizing a rising Democratic star. Rep. Cedric Richmond wowed both teams with his masterful pitching performance in last years game.
Remember all that talk in 2009 about Red Sox World Series hero Curt Schilling running for the Senate in Massachusetts? For the GOP baseball team, it might be time to revisit that idea. The Republicans are going to need some help if they hope to reclaim the coveted Roll Call trophy during what appears certain to become known in Congressional baseball lore as the Cedric Richmond era.
"Health care now! Health care now! The jeers swelled across the Democrats side of the stadium, shrill cries conflating sports with politics during the 1994 Roll Call Congressional Baseball Game. Crumpled on the ground, in so much pain that he couldnt make out the chants, was then-Rep. Mike Oxley (R-Ohio). Running into first baseman Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) had shattered the bones in Oxleys left arm.
When Rep. Erik Paulsen finally found a place to live in Washington, his housemates made him agree to one extra stipulation: He had to play baseball. I had no choice, the Minnesota Republican said jokingly. Three years ago, Paulsen moved into a town house shared with Reps. John Shimkus (Ill.), Kevin Brady (Texas) and Steve Scalise (La.), all of whom play on the Republican Congressional baseball team.
Video: Stories From Past and Present Stars of the Congressional Baseball Game
Following the speeches from elected officials, the crowd stands at long tables as they dig into BBQ, brunswick stew, cadillac rice at the Law Enforcement Cookout at Wayne Dasher's pond house in Glennville, Ga., on Thursday, April 17, 2014.