this-sporting-life

Tennis Interruptus -- Votes Intrude on Charity Match

   

Work, work, work. Sens. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., and Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., were warming up for Wednesday night's Washington Kastles Charity Classic tennis match when they got the court-side call: They were needed back on Capitol Hill for a vote on the highway bill . "Some of our players are not here yet, because they are making our government run more effectively,” public announcer Wes Johnson said (even though the two were there and had to drop their racquets to return to the Hill).  

In the Beginning, There Was Baseball

Herlong hosted members of Congress in Daytona Beach for a spring training run for the Congressional Baseball Game. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Since the first edition of Roll Call was published on June 16, 1955, a big part of the editorial mission has been chronicling life around Capitol Hill, what our founder Sid Yudain referred to as "our little community."  

In that first run, under a section on Page 4 dubbed "Editorial Stuff," there is coverage of that annual rite of summer, the Congressional Baseball Game, and it has a familiar tone to it, a connective tissue from Vol. 1, No. 1 to Vol. 60, No. 127. "We've all done a lot of kidding about the Congressional baseball game. But while we're enjoying our laughs, let's not lose sight of the splendid and humane purpose of the annual tilt. Both the Congressmen and the Evening Star which sponsors the affair deserve a long, low bow for their efforts to send underprivileged children to country camps," the item stated, referring to the always amusing spectacle of grown men fulfilling childhood fantasies on the baseball diamond.  

CityCenterDC Scores Women’s World Cup Watch Party

The boorish behavior of certain FIFA officials has cast a pall over the beautiful game.  

But goodwill ambassadors at the U.S. Soccer Foundation and Embassy of Australia are hoping to retrain the focus on world-class athletics Monday by co-hosting a free watch party of the U.S.-Australia group match of the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup at CityCenterDC.  

There Be Dragons — and Horses

Take in a Black Eyed Susan on Preakness Day! (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Start off the week with a rock-star historian and end it with the spectacle of dragons gliding down the Potomac River. In between, mix with a little splash of ginger and take in the second leg of the Triple Crown. The Wright Stuff David McCullough reads from his new book, "The Wright Brothers" at Sixth & I Monday at 7 p.m. The celebrated biographer of such political heavyweights as Harry S. Truman and John Adams chronicles the story of Orville and Wilbur, who pioneered aviation as we know it. Wonder how they'd feel about cellphones in airline cabins now. Ticketed event. Thirty bucks gets you a book and a seat. Go to the Politics and Prose website for purchase.  

Summertime New Belgium Brewing and Girls Pint Out team up to drink up at Roofers Union Thursday from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. The occasion is the release of New Belgium's Pear Ginger Beer, and to encourage beer cocktails, hanging out and noshing. It'll take place in a dozen U.S. cities, from Portland, Ore., to Tucson, Ariz., to our fair city.  

At Tortilla Coast, Strasburg or Strasburger?

High cinco! (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

What's more American than margaritas on Cinco de Mayo? How about a margarita on Cinco de Mayo at the capital of political Tex-Mex pubs, Tortilla Coast?  

The Capitol Hill watering hole, renowned as the former employer of GOP stars like Rep. Paul D. Ryan , R-Wis., and the secret meeting place of Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and his followers , is ramping up for a two-fer: The busiest day of the year for them (Cinco de Mayo) and a Washington Nationals home game, where the Nats will take on the loathed Marlins of Miami. Home games for the home team bring out Tortilla Coast's Strasburger, a double-decker meat bomb introduced last year to honor starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg . The San Diego native hurler is pitching tonight against Matt Latos. Game time is 7:05 p.m. at Nationals Park.  

Senate Leaders Are Sports Throwbacks

Columnist George Will, left, Reid and Bryce Harper hang out at Nationals Park. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A couple of generations ago, America's top sports were baseball, horse racing and boxing. Times change, but the Senate's top two leaders love to kick it old school.  

Look no further than the upcoming Friday, when the chamber won't be in session, providing valuable travel and hang-out time in Kentucky and Nevada for two marquee events. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., are avowed Washington Nationals fans and support the home baseball team here in the District.  

Baseball Polling, in Black and White

Is baseball still a "national" pastime? (Jason Dick/CQ Roll Call)

Roughly one-third of Americans surveyed in a HBO Real Sports/Marist Poll released recently think the decline in African-American participation in baseball is reason for concern.  

Interesting news in light of Clinton Yates' recent story in The Washington Post about how the Washington Nationals have demoted Chuck Brown's "Busting Loose" from the rotation when a Nats hits a home run at Nationals Park. The go-go anthem is an icon for people from the Washington area, particularly African Americans. "This isn’t merely another case of a certain era of the District’s culture being wiped off the map because it didn’t appeal to corporate and/or commercial interests. It’s about where the Nationals want to stand in the overall power rankings of the Washington sports fan experience. ... This franchise is too young and not nearly rooted enough to be ditching the few traditions it has already established," Yates wrote.  

Cherry Blossom Run Packet Pickup in CVC

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Are you participating in the annual Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run on April 12? A reminder those competing in the event's Capitol Hill Competition can pick up their race packets from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Capitol Visitor Center's HVC-215.  

Selling Out at the Tune Inn

"I wouldn't be sitting here if it wasn't sold out."  

— A barfly at the Tune Inn, watching the Washington Nationals' Opening Day game Monday at the Tune Inn on Capitol Hill. The Nationals lost to the New York Mets, 3-1.  

Opening Day Wasn't Always a Given in D.C.

Things weren't always so merry with Washington baseball. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

It's opening day for Major League Baseball and the Washington Nationals are the odds-on favorite to win the 2015 World Series. It wasn't always like this.  

As any die-hard D.C. baseball fan can tell you , at one point success wasn't a given for the nation's capital on the baseball diamond, nor was even having a team! After owner Calvin Griffith moved the original Washington Senators to Minneapolis after the 1960 season, the American League moved to quickly expand in 1961, so Washington would not go long without a baseball team. The logistics were a high hurdle, but the pressure was on to deliver. And it came from even as high a place as Capitol Hill.