Republican team manager Barton, right, talking with Democratic team manager Doyle at a previous game, is putting his hopes on freshman DeSantis.
“Guys have already come up to me and told me they’re glad I’m here, so I’ve already made some friends because of it,” DeSantis said. “I didn’t realize it was this big of a deal ... with the whole Nationals stadium and that they practice for essentially two months before the game. I’m glad they take it seriously.”
Doyle said that in addition to Richmond’s continued role on the team, the Democrats are looking forward to a few new freshman members with impressive athletic résumés.
He said Rep. Patrick Murphy of Florida was displaying fast pitching speeds and good batting skills at practice on Wednesday.
“Pat Murphy is that same kind of ballplayer,” Doyle said, comparing Murphy’s talent to that of Richmond’s. “He is going to make a real name for himself in this year’s game.”
Doyle added that Rep. Jared Huffman of California, an All-American volleyball player who was a member of the World Champion USA Volleyball Team in 1987, and Rep. Eric Swalwell of California, who played on the University of Maryland’s men’s soccer team, have also displayed talent on the field.
Although both teams are in it to win it, they are also excited that their performances help raise money for charity.
The game’s proceeds are donated to two charities — the Washington Literacy Center and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Washington.
Last year’s game raised more than $160,000 for the organizations.
“As a small community-based organization trying to meet a critical need in the community, the Washington Literacy Center values being part of the annual Congressional Baseball Game,” said Executive Director Terry Algire, whose organization helps adults in the District learn to read to better their long-term education and career goals. “The Congressional Baseball Game creates incredible community awareness about the literacy challenge and our efforts to address that challenge.”
Tim Phillips of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Washington is also thrilled to be part of the game again this year.
“The members of Congress participating in the game means a great deal, to not only me but to our organization and the youth we serve,” Phillips said. “The game has been exciting every year that I have been involved.”
The game will start at 7:05 p.m. on June 13. Tickets are $10 and can be ordered online at congressionalbaseball.org.
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.