Even Mother Nature decided the annual Congressional Baseball Game was too important to rain out.
Congressional Democrats and Republicans traded their suits and ties for caps and cleats at Nationals Park on Thursday night. Republicans led the overall series 38-36-1, but the 22-person Democrat roster easily carved out a 22-0 win over their opponents. And Democrats, like Connecticut's Chris Murphy, certainly enjoyed the win and took to Twitter for some humble bragging—and complaining. The win extended the Democratic winning streak to five years in a row.
Basking in the morning glow of last night's 22-0 drubbing of GOP in the Congressional baseball game. #verysore— Chris Murphy (@ChrisMurphyCT) June 14, 2013
This year's game marked the 52nd edition of the modern version of the Congressional Baseball Game, which was revived in 1992 by the Capitol Hill publication Roll Call. Teams made up of serving Dems and Republicans in the House and Senate play a best-of-five series for the coveted Roll Call Trophy. Games are seven innings long, complete with thousands of nerdy politicos screaming fans and an umpire behind the plate--so at least we know one person is capable of bipartisan fairness in Washington.
Last year's game raked in $250,000 for charity and this year's proceeds will go to the Washington Literacy Club, the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Washington, and The Washington Nationals Dream Foundation.
A bit of history: Rep. John Tener, a Pennsylvania Republican, founded the baseball game, likely due to his glory days as a former pitcher for the Chicago White Sox. The tradition itself dates back to 1909, but after being discontinued in 1961 for fear of injury, Roll Call revived the game in its modern form the following year. Since then, it has become a Capitol Hill fan-favorite played at Nationals Park since 2008.
Of course, what's baseball without a Hall of Fame? Also established by Roll Call, the Congressional Baseball Hall of Fame includes league founder Tener, former UN Ambassador Bill Richardson, former Defense Secretary William Cohen, and former Rep. Ron Paul. During his four terms in the House, George H.W. Bush was the GOP's starting first baseman (a position he'd played at Yale).
Key players this year included Rep. Bill Pascrell, Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, and Sen. Chris Murphy taking the field for the Democrats, and Sens. Rand Paul, Tim Scott and Jeff Flake, and Rep. Louis Gohmert suiting up for the GOP.
It's always nice to be reminded that Congress can come together--even if it's just for seven innings.