Twenty-three years ago this month, around the time Vice President Dan Quayle was discussing "Murphy Brown" and Eddie Murphy's "The Distinguished Gentleman" was filming on Capitol Hill, the Federal Election Commission and the Department of Justice faced off in what was supposed to be a friendly softball game.
It should come as no surprise with these two organizations, but a dispute over the rules caused tensions to run unusually high during the game, before getting physical.
When asked by CQ Roll Call this week if the two still face off on the diamond, an FEC spokeswoman said its softball team currently does not play any DOJ-affiliated teams, but that "does not necessarily mean that DOJ staffers aren't on teams the FEC team does play."
Here's the original Roll Call report, as it appeared in the May 21, 1992, edition:
Heard on the Hill: Hardball!
By Craig Winneker
A softball game last Thursday between employees of the Justice Department and the Federal Election Commission ended in a shoving match after a heated rules dispute.
Sources tell HOH that tempers flared over jurisdictional issues — no surprise with those two agencies — such as whether or not a team's pitcher and catcher had to be of different genders. Tensions were high during the entire game, which was played on a field near the Jefferson Memorial.
In the game's final play, an FEC staffer attempted to score the go-ahead run as the Justice pitcher was covering the plate. They bumped into each other, and soon players from both teams were in on the action.
Said FEC spokesman Fred Eiland, who was not at the game, "It was nothing more than a typical heated argument over running bases."
Eiland also pointed out that the FEC won the game, 11 to 10.
A Justice Department team member declined comment except to say that the game was never completed because Justice did not get a final turn at bat. An investigation into the incident by a special counsel is not being ruled out.
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