It’s that time of year again.
Congressional baseball is back! The 54th Annual Roll Call Congressional Baseball Game Thursday is the real midsummer classic here in Washington, D.C. It's like a preview of 2018 All Star Game at Nationals Park, except this time starring members of Congress.
There's really only good things happening around congressional baseball : it has the feel of a summer baseball game with the camaraderie of a work happy hour; the luxury of VIP seats behind the dugout at the $10 bargain price. There is something for everyone, from the thrill-seeking intern who gets excited to see a member of Congress in person to the hard-working chief of staff who needs an excuse to take the rest of the team out for the night.
Each year, Hill Navigator puts together a staffer guide to the game. This year, we’ve updated it to ensure your game-watching and section-cheering experience is stellar. Enjoy. (Here is the 2013 Staffer Guide and the 2014 Staffer Guide .)
First, take it for what it is. You're not going to see Bryce Harper hitting or Max Scherzer pitching. These are men and women fulfilling a lifelong dream to be a sports hero with the audience and arena to do so. Enjoy the ballgame without the MLB comparisons.
Second, root for the home team. It’s one of the best days of the year to root for your party without any rancor or campaign ramifications. Creatively worded signs make the night more fun — tweet the best ones to @rollcall, or let us know what section you're in.
Third, mingle. Stretch those legs, say “hi” to another office, use this as a chance to sidle up to a lobbyist in one of the special, roped-off sections. This can be especially useful if the idea of three hours with your co-workers seems daunting. Talk about how the Astros are the American League sleeper team. Take advantage of the above-average ballpark food (Hill Navigator recommends the cauliflower sandwich at G) and great setting. If the weather cooperates, it could be a beautiful night for baseball.
Fourth, watch the drinking. Remember you're at a work event and be mindful of your limits. Know that Heard on the Hill is watching, taking notes, writing tweets, even capturing surreptitious pictures (and video — look, Roll Call is on Vine!).
Fifth, spin this to your local paper. If your boss is in the game — or even is posing with that creative sign — snap a pic and put together a couple lines to let your hometown papers know about it. You’re likely to generate a story that even the most politically apathetic could still find interesting.
And several practical tips:
• Ditch the suit and ID badge. Change into casual clothes and don’t walk around with your badge hanging out. You’re not an intern, and if you are, you don’t need to look like one.
• Read the 54th Annual Roll Call Congressional Baseball Game program, handed out at the ballpark as you arrive. And store it somewhere on your office shelf, preferably next to this year's set of Roll Call baseball cards.
• Come prepared. Maybe that means an umbrella, maybe that means a charger for your iPhone. You might be in casual clothes watching a jumbotron, but your boss is still around, and staffer rules apply.
Related: The 54th Annual Roll Call Congressional Baseball Game 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.