The Congressional Baseball Game gives congressmen tired of shouting matches on the floor an annual chance to blow off steam on the diamond. There, the shot at clear victory, alien in the world of committee meetings and debates, inspires fever pitch efforts from both parties. Yesterday at Nationals Park, the Democrats hit boiling point early and blew by the Republicans 22-0. Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-LA), who has carried the team for the past two years, pitched seven shutout innings and drove in two runs with his four hits. There was no mercy on display.
Whuppings aren’t uncommon in congressional baseball history—the Dems won 29-4 in 1913, 36-4 in 1928, and 18-5 last year, while the GOP scored blowouts in 1999 (17-1), 1968 (16-1), and 1932 (19-5). Though the GOP leads the Dems with a 41-38-1 overall record, as long as Richmond remains in office (he was elected with 65% of the vote) Republicans face bleak prospects.
If only the GOP ballplayers could call up one of their all-stars, Ron Paul, to pull them out of the Richmond rut. A congressional baseball Hall of Famer and the first player in congressional baseball history to hit a home run over the fence, Paul had a stellar career on the diamond while in office, and you can see him smacking a double above in the only tie in congressional baseball history, a 17-17 showdown in 1983.
According to Roll Call, the Capitol Hill news source that has sponsored the game since 1962, Paul went up to the House chamber floor the next year and said, “I am convinced the annual baseball game played by the Republicans and the Democrats must be considered one of the most productive events in which the Members of Congress participate.” In 2012, he still felt the same way. “I’ve always argued that sports are a great way to get to know people,” said Paul. “There’s a little difference in relationships than with those you only confront on the House floor.”
Republicans have 364 days to find their next Ron Paul.