No Comity at Stadium as Fans Jeer and Cheer

Posted June 24, 2005 at 6:15pm

As the relentless GOP offense squelched the Democrats’ hopes for their first victory since 2000, a feisty crowd at Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium created a spirited and fiercely partisan backdrop to the 44th Annual Roll Call Congressional Baseball Game.

After the Republicans jumped out to an early 9-0 lead, a group of interns from the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank, taunted the Democrats with a chant mocking then-Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle’s (D-S.D.) 2004 re-election loss.

“Da-schle! Da-schle! Da-schle!” the group cheered.

Although the chant was ill-taken by the Democratic fans seated near the group, the AEI interns were not apologetic for their behavior.

“Yeah, we were taunting the Daschle crowd,” said 21-year-old Joe Mauzari. “Someone’s got to represent on this side.”

Democratic supporters were no less caustic.

When House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (Texas) appeared on the RFK video screen giving two thumbs up to the Republicans’ performance, Rep. Brian Baird (D-Wash.) led the Democratic cheering section in a chant ridiculing the Texas Republican’s relationship with former lobbyist Jack Abramoff, now under multiple federal investigations.

“A-bra-moff! A-bra-moff! A-bra-moff!” the crowd chanted.

But it was Pennsylvania Republican Sen. Rick Santorum whom Democratic fans cast as the evening’s villain, breaking into a chorus of boos and chanting “Ca-sey! Ca-sey!” when the Republican Senator came to the plate.

The chant was a reference to Bob Casey Jr. (D), the state treasurer and Santorum’s opponent in the 2006 Pennsylvania Senate race.

Some Democratic hecklers were particularly scathing. “Hey Santorum, you suck!” one fan shouted.

But Santorum’s 2-for-3 night, which included an RBI and a lined shot off pitcher Rep. Mel Watt’s (D-N.C.) arm, demonstrated that the crowd’s taunts were unable to rattle the Pennsylvania lawmaker.

Not all of the game’s cheering was negative in spirit. In the middle of the game, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) was among a handful of Democratic lawmakers who whipped the crowd into a frenzy by climbing onto the Democratic dugout to rally support for her team.

“Everybody’s having a great time,” Pelosi said. “It’s great fun.”

Jared Allen and Matthew Murray contributed to this report.