Despite undergoing shoulder surgery the week before Thanksgiving, Rep. Cedric L. Richmond remains confident he will return to the field on June 11 for the 54th Annual Roll Call Congressional Baseball Game .
“I’ll be able to play in the game," the golden-armed Louisiana Democrat recently told CQ Roll Call. “The big question is, whether I’ll be able to pitch.” Richmond, who has pitched and hit in four decisive wins over Republicans, has a rough road to recovery ahead after the operation to repair torn cartilage in his right shoulder. The former Morehouse College baseball player tries to squeeze in twice-weekly sessions with a physical therapist, “but with this job — it’s hard,” he said.
Asked about his confidence level six months away from the mid-summer matchup at Nationals Park, Richmond acknowledged some uncertainty.
“I still don’t have all of my range of motion back,” Richmond said. “Once I get that, then I can start lifting weights and try to get it stronger. … I feel good that I’ll be able to play but probably won’t know for about two months whether I’ll be able to throw or not.”
In 2014, when Democrats beat Republicans 15-6 , Richmond spent the entire night on the pitcher's mound. He made some memorable plays, including a diving catch and throw to get Rep. Tom Rooney, R-Fla., out at first. Republicans intentionally walked the visibly frustrated Democrat 4 out of his 5 trips to the plate. Fantasy baseball contestants were no doubt disappointed by the strategy. Richmond was the most-picked player for the fantasy teams.
Democratic manager Rep. Mike Doyle , of Pennsylvania, has praised Richmond's pitching prowess. In 2011, before Richmond's debut game, Doyle told CQ Roll Call: “A dominant pitcher can really change the game, and Cedric has the ability to do that. ... If he can keep it in the strike zone, I think he’s going to be tough to hit.”
Richmond promised to keep CQ Roll Call updated on his status as the 2015 game approaches. Rep. Patrick Murphy, D-Fla., is a former pitcher who the Democrats could turn to in the event Richmond is unable to take the mound.
Bridget Bowman contributed to this report. RELATED: Roll Call Congressional Baseball Game Cedric Richmond Has ‘Every Intention’ of Pitching Next Year Congressional Baseball Game Scheduled for June The 114th: CQ Roll Call's Guide to the New Congress Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call in your inbox or on your iPhone.