This year’s Congressional Baseball Game is scheduled for Thursday at Nationals Park. Between now and game time, CQ Roll Call talks to members of Congress about why they play, what they expect this year and some of their favorite stories from games past. —
With the game on tap, members talked about what to expect.
Sen. Joe Donnelly
“I really think it’s gonna be a tough, hard fought game. If you remember the old ‘Rocky’ movies, when he finally won the title, and that’s how we felt because we lost a number of games before we won some.”
Donnelly: “Eight. [laughter] But when Rocky finally won the title, the next picture you see is of the young guy working nonstop who’s going to be fighting against him, and Rocky in an Italian restaurant eating and drinking wine. I don’t want us to be at the eating and drinking wine stage.”
Sen. Jeff Flake
“I think we’re gonna win. It’s the law of averages. Kevin [Brady] brings his bat, which he does every year. That’s what we need. We have hits. It’s just keeping the error rate down is a little difficult. But we’re gonna do it this year.”
Sen. Christopher S. Murphy
“Well, the law of averages would certainly hold that Republicans should win but there’s something called [Louisiana Rep. and Democratic pitcher] Cedric Richmond that unfortunately interferes with the law of averages. The game was really competitive last year, and I suspect it will be competitive again. The fact is that if you can field in this game, you can do pretty well. And that tends to be the difference between a blow out and a close game.
“So, I expect it will be a good game this year. My goal as the catcher is not to embarrass myself. There’s a lot of opportunity for things to go wrong behind the plate, especially when somebody throws a curve ball like Cedric Richmond. So I have some personal goals—to just keep the ball in front of me. But I suspect it will be a pretty good game.”
Rep. Kevin Brady
“We’re gonna win this year. Let me just predict that, right now. We’ve been rebuilding, you know. We’ve got a youth movement which means they’re in their 50s in baseball. We got a good young pitcher, [North Carolina Rep.] Mark Walker. We’ve got great infielders and outfielders. People like Jeff Flake who are just steady, good athletes in there. We’ve been embarrassed for too many years. We had a good, competitive game last year. I think this year’s really gonna be competitive.”