Despite impending shoulder surgery , Rep. Cedric L. Richmond, D-La., said he plans to return to the mound for next year's Roll Call Congressional Baseball Game and help Democrats hold onto the coveted Roll Call Trophy.
"I do have every intention of pitching in next year’s game," Richmond said in a phone interview Monday.
The Louisiana Democrat said the surgery to repair a torn labrum, or joint cartilage, and bone spurs in his right shoulder will take place in New Orleans the week after the elections.
But Richmond said if the doctor says he will not be able to play in the annual summer game, he will postpone the surgery to after the 2015 game, giving him an entire year to recover.
Richmond said pitchers typically take a year to rehabilitate from the surgery before pitching again but he was optimistic that he could recover in six months, considering he only pitches once a year.
Richmond helped the Democrats beat Republicans 15-6 by pitching each inning during the game this past June, but he was fighting through pain in his shoulder. His teammates were aware he was struggling, but Richmond said he never discussed heading to the bench. Shoulder pain has plagued him for at least the past three years, but, after this year, enough was enough.
"I’ve been pitching in pain, but it was just unbearable after this past year,” he said.
Though Richmond was adamant he would pitch again next year, he said Rep. Patrick Murphy, D-Fla., would be able to fill his cleats on the pitcher's mound if necessary.
But Richmond plans to return to Nationals Park in June. “I just like the game,” he said, noting that the event also benefits local charities. Richmond also said the game is an opportunity to form bipartisan bonds and boost Democratic morale.
“Although the Republicans control the House," said Richmond, "this is a great way to build relationships across the aisle and at the same time keep my Democratic friends excited.”
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