GOP Can't Catch a Break in Congressional Baseball Recruitment

Democrats won the Roll Call Congressional Baseball Game again this year. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Phil Berger Jr.’s loss in Tuesday’s Republican runoff in North Carolina’s 6th District was about more than an establishment favorite getting knocked off by an anti-establishment challenger.  

He could have been a key player for Republicans in future Roll Call Congressional Baseball Games.  

According to multiple sources, Berger was expected to infuse the Republican Conference with some talent in next year’s 54th Annual Roll Call Congressional Baseball Game. He was even talked about as a potential pitcher.  

The GOP needed it, considering Democrats are on a six-game winning streak . This year , Democrats defeated Republicans, 15-6. Berger threw out the first pitch just last week at a Greensboro Grasshoppers minor league game, but it’s unclear from the photos how much Republicans will actually be missing.  

Berger’s primary foe, Rev. Mark Walker, threw out the first pitch a night earlier for the same Miami Marlins Single-A affiliate. And judging strictly by the photos, Republicans may still get a player (and potential pitcher) out of the deal.  

Republican reinforcements may also be on the way from Pennsylvania’s 6th District.  

Chester County Commissioner Ryan Costello is the favorite to keep retiring Rep. Jim Gerlach’s seat in Republican hands this fall. The Rothenberg Political Report /Roll Call rates the race as Lean Republican for now.  

In a recent candidate interview, Costello revealed that he could potentially pitch for the GOP next year. The 37 year-old Republican played more basketball and soccer as he got older, but he played baseball until he was 15, including a Babe Ruth state championship, and could provide the caucus with some younger depth on the mound.