Feb. 11, 2016 SIGN IN | REGISTER

One Great Player Could Mean Years of Baseball Victories

Scott J. Ferrell/CQ Roll Call
California Democrats, including Reps. Joe Baca and Linda Sánchez and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, claimed victory Thursday night at Nationals Park.

But their numbers proved ineffective — call it the power of one, a force that has been felt before in the D.C. version of the midsummer classic.

NFL Hall of Fame wide receiver and then-Rep. Steve Largent (R-Okla.) dominated from the mound in the 1990s, compiling a 5-1 record for the GOP and winning three MVP awards.

But their current pro football alum, Rep. Jon Runyan (N.J.), like North Carolina Democrat (and former Washington Redskin) Heath Shuler, is apparently a one-sport star. An offensive lineman, Runyan’s skill set doesn’t readily translate from the gridiron to the diamond. (For more differences between football and baseball, please refer to George Carlin.)

While Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) might someday exceed his father, Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), in legislative accomplishments, he does not seem likely to surpass his Senate predecessor, Baseball Hall of Famer Jim Bunning (R), as a contributor on the field.

So if Richmond, who is only 37 and hails from a solidly Democratic district, stays in Congress and stays healthy, Democrats could be poised to enjoy a Largent-like golden age.

“For the last four weeks, they’ve been saying, ‘Oh we have this kid that’s going to really help us win.’ So, by today, I was really feeling it,” Richmond said after the game.

Having won the two most recent games even before Richmond arrived in Congress, Democrats get to keep the coveted Roll Call trophy this year, as it stays with the team that wins three out of five games.

A new series will begin in 2012. Short of Richmond resigning, perhaps the Republicans’ best chance for victory in the near future would be for Sen. John Kerry (D) to be named secretary of State, opening up a Massachusetts Senate seat. Or Schilling could move to Arizona, where he also won a World Series, and wait for Sen. John McCain (R) to retire.

Richmond was Ruthian, and Schilling has experience breaking Ruth-related curses.

Barring those contingencies, Democrats can dream that their prospects in next year’s national election are as bright as their prospects in the national pastime.

Erin Mershon, Niels Lesniewski, Jessica Estepa, Dan Peake and Neda Semnani contributed to this report.

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