Snake-Bitten Brady Makes Another First-Inning Exit

Posted July 9, 2004 at 5:33pm

Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas) is quickly picking up a Ken Griffey Jr.-like reputation: a highly skilled player, but one prone to injury. For the second year in a row, the GOP’s starting second baseman was forced to leave the Annual Roll Call Congressional Baseball Game with a first-inning injury Thursday night.

While last year’s injury came in dramatic fashion, this time Brady came up lame while running to second base.

Limping off the field and onto the bench, Brady lamented his predicament. “I loosened it up — you’ve got to be kidding me,” he told the GOP trainer, who diagnosed the injury as a pulled calf muscle.

Although he would have liked to have re-entered the game, he said the muscle “tightened up even more after I got off the field.”

Last year Brady did not get off quite so easily when he collided with the Democratic catcher, Rep. Tim Holden (Pa.), at home plate. While Brady managed to score a run, he also dislocated and broke his shoulder in the process. The rehabilitation process was long and hard, but Brady was undeterred and suited up for the game.

Even the second injury couldn’t ruin his spirits.

While he said he was “disappointed not to make it out of the first again this year,” he did his best not to show it. Brady was as enthusiastic as any of the other players in the dugout (and later on the field, sitting on a box and propping his injured leg on a bucket), cheering on his teammates in their 14-7 trouncing of the Democrats.

Coming into his Cannon Building office on crutches Friday morning, Brady made his way to the Attending Physician’s office. Confirming that the injury was no worse than a strain, the doctor gave Brady a cane so he would not have to move around the Capitol on crutches.

Unhappy with his level of playing time, Brady remarked that his contract with the Republican manager, Rep. Mike Oxley (Ohio), “only calls for one inning every game; I want to renegotiate.”

Count on Brady to be back next year, even though his wife does not seem thrilled at the prospect. While recounting the details of his injury to her over the phone Thursday night, he said he “could feel her shaking her head” on the other end of the line.