congressional-baseball

Officers who saved lives during baseball shooting get one of highest law enforcement honors
David Bailey, Crystal Griner honored with the Congressional Badge of Bravery

Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., right, presents the Law Enforcement Congressional Badge of Bravery Award to Capitol Police Special Agent Crystal Griner on Capitol Hill on Tuesday. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

Just over two years since a gunman opened fire on an Alexandria, Virginia, baseball diamond and turned a Republican lawmaker practice into a national tragedy, the Capitol Police officers who saved lives were honored Tuesday with the Law Enforcement Congressional Badge of Bravery.

Special Agents David Bailey and Crystal Griner of the Capitol Police — both of whom are Maryland residents — were presented with one of the highest honors in law enforcement in the Capitol by the Maryland congressional delegation for their heroic roles in preventing what could have been a massacre. The award honors exceptional acts of bravery in the line of duty by federal, state and local law enforcement for those who have been at risk of injury or injured. It is awarded annually by the U.S. Attorney General and is presented by the recipients’ congressional delegation.

Durbin and Duckworth want Major League Baseball to extend foul ball netting at all parks
Following announcements from Nationals and White Sox, Illinois senators press Manfred

Nationals Park, the venue for Wednesday night’s Congressional Baseball Game, will be getting extended netting over the All-Star break. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

Democratic Sens. Richard J. Durbin and Tammy Duckworth want Major League Baseball to expand netting to protect fans from foul balls across the entirety of the major leagues.

The Illinois senators have written to MLB commissioner Rob Manfred seeking an extension of netting at all ballparks. The letter, dated Thursday, follows announcements of extended netting by the Chicago White Sox and the Washington Nationals.

Our 10 best photos from the 58th annual Congressional Baseball Game
Roll Call photographer Caroline Brehman covered it from start to finish

House Minority Whip Steve Scalise walks out to the field before the start of the 58th annual Congressional Baseball Game at Nationals Park on Wednesday night. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

The Democrats’ 14-7 win at the Congressional Baseball Game on Wednesday night was the their eighth in nine years, behind another complete game effort from MVP pitcher Rep. Cedric L. Richmond of Louisiana — and solid hitting from the lineup.

Here are the photos that defined the evening at Nationals Park:

These members can play baseball, but do you want them on your trivia team?
Heard on the Hill

Virginia Rep. Denver Riggleman rolls over on his head as he field a ground ball during the 58th annual Congressional Baseball Game at Nationals Park on Wednesday. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

As the lights came up at the 58th annual Congressional Baseball Game for Charity, members of the Democratic and Republican teams took the field. Despite both teams’ months of practice, didn’t any of them think they’d need to brush up on their trivia?

Democratic domination continues in Congressional Baseball Game
Lawmakers take a break from border funding, debate buzz to compete on the field

Democratic Rep. Ed Perlmutter of Colorado collides with Republican Rep. Rodney Davis of Illinois at home plate during the 58th annual Congressional Baseball Game at Nationals Park on Wednesday. Perlmutter scored on the play. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

Ask any dad and he will tell you: Defense wins championships. But when Republicans ask themselves what went wrong Wednesday night, they might point to a sloppy defensive effort that resulted in four errors and their third straight loss to the Democrats.

The 14-7 win at the Congressional Baseball Game was the Democrats’ eighth in nine years, behind another complete game effort from MVP Cedric Richmond and solid hitting from the lineup.

Diamonds are Reps. Linda Sánchez and Nanette Barragán’s best friend
Female lawmakers take the baseball field following Title IX anniversary

Rep. Linda Sánchez, here in 2015, is one of two women who will play in the Congressional Baseball Game this year. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Even though Reps. Linda Sánchez and Nanette Barragán will be the lone female lawmakers at Nationals Park, surrounded by more than 70 male colleagues and coaches, the only thing that might give it away is their ponytails. Sporting cleats, batting helmets and their favorite jerseys, they’re just some of the guys.

“They treat us like equals. They make us work just as hard,” Barragán told me of her male teammates after one of their last practices before Wednesday night’s Congressional Baseball Game.

Meet some of the former pros who’ve played in the Congressional Baseball Game
Bunning, Largent, Ryun and Shuler all had varying degrees of success on the diamond

Oklahoma Rep. Steve Largent is greeted by his Republican teammates before the 2000 Congressional Baseball Game. Largent led the Republicans to victory in five of his seven games. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Reps. Colin Allred and Anthony Gonzalez won’t be the first former professional athletes to compete in the Congressional Baseball Game. Over the decades, Republicans and Democrats have looked to other ex-pros turned congressmen and their athletic talents in hopes of scoring on the diamond.

The late Sen. Jim Bunning is the only baseball Hall of Famer to come to Washington. Over a 17-season pitching career from 1955 to 1971, the Kentucky Republican won 224 games and had an earned run average of 3.27. Bunning won election to the House in 1986 and made his Congressional Baseball Game debut the following year. He was part of the winning GOP team at least three times as either pitcher or pitching coach. After two terms in the Senate, Bunning opted against re-election in 2010. He died in 2017 at age 85.

For Colin Allred, Major League dreams are close to coming true
NFL veteran returns to his first sporting love at the Congressional Baseball Game

Colin Allred earned first-team all-district honors his sophomore and junior seasons at Hillcrest High School in Dallas. (Courtesy Office of Rep. Colin Allred)

As a kid, Rep. Colin Allred dreamed of playing baseball on a Major League field. The Texas Democrat will get that chance Wednesday night at the Congressional Baseball Game, and he could add significant heft to an already loaded Democratic squad.

It hasn’t been a typical path for Allred — college football, the National Football League, law school, a job in the Obama’s administration, and getting elected to Congress to represent the Dallas-area 32nd District.

Republicans look to avenge last year’s baseball rout
GOP team hopes new blood will reverse recent fortune in the Congressional Baseball Game

Capitol Hill staffer Zack Barth, right — here with his boss, Texas Rep. Roger Williams, at a GOP practice last year — is feeling optimistic about the Republicans’ chances in next week’s Congressional Baseball Game. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Republicans hope that roster additions and A-list advisers can help their team avenge last year’s blowout loss in the Congressional Baseball Game.

“Any outcome is going to be better than last year,” says Zack Barth, a staffer for Texas Rep. Roger Williams, who’s been involved with team practices. That’s when Republicans got routed 21-5 behind a complete-game pitching effort from Louisiana Democratic Rep. Cedric L. Richmond. Former New York Rep. Joseph Crowley called it “more of a football game.”

Exiting Capitol Police chief honored by Pelosi, McCarthy
Matthew Verderosa retiring after three decades on the force

U.S. Capitol Police Chief Matthew Verderosa is retiring after more than three decades on the force. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

After more than three decades on the force, Capitol Police Chief Matthew Verderosa received recognition and a fond farewell from Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy on the House floor Wednesday.

“Police Chief Verderosa has proven himself as leader of the highest patriotism and professionalism who has proudly carried forth the Capitol Police’s nearly two centuries of storied service,” Pelosi said on the floor.