Texas Rep. Ron Paul won’t be the Republican nominee for president in 2012, but he is getting a pretty cool consolation prize.
On Thursday, Paul will be inducted into the CQ Roll Call Congressional Baseball Hall of Fame.
Paul was a solid performer for seven years on the Republican team, but he is being honored largely for a single moment — the night in 1979 when he smacked a pitch from former Ohio Democratic Rep. Ron Mottl over the left-field wall at Four Mile Run Park in Alexandria, Va., a Fenwayesque shot of about 310 feet. It is believed to be the first out-of-the-park homer in the history of the Congressional game. (The only other, by Illinois GOP Rep. John Shimkus, hit the foul pole in 1997 at Prince George’s Stadium in Bowie, Md. Others have hit inside-the-park homers.)
Paul will become the 22nd member of the Hall of Fame in a ceremony before the start of the 51st Annual CQ Roll Call Congressional Baseball Game on Thursday night at Nationals Park.
“I think they honored me that night with an award for doing it,” Paul told Roll Call in an interview for a story that will appear in Thursday’s game program. “It was a lot of fun, that’s all. There was no long-lasting significance.”
Now there is.
Like most high-achievers, Paul would rather talk about the one that got away.
“I remember the one I missed,” Paul said. “I hit the top of the wall and got a double.” And that was at old Memorial Stadium in Baltimore, the former home of the Orioles.
He ended his career with a .294 batting average, six runs scored and six RBIs during seven games.
Paul is leaving the House at the end of the 112th Congress, but he will get to serve his last six months alongside the only other sitting Member in the Hall of Fame, 2011 inductee Rep. Mel Watt (D-N.C.).