PA reps swing for charity in annual Congressional baseball game

Call Washington Bureau

Republicans may control the U.S. House, but it was the Democrats who dominated the baseball field this week in the 53rd annual Congressional baseball game.

Four Pennsylvania House members took the field at Nationals Park on Wednesday: Reps. Lou Barletta, Pat Meehan and Bill Shuster were in the GOP dugout, while Rep. Mike Doyle, clad in Pittsburgh Pirates gear, was the manager for the Democrats.

Don’t be fooled by the fact that these ball players spend their days wearing suits and debating tax policy. There were some experienced athletes on the field: Louisiana Democrat Cedric Richmond was a pitcher for Morehouse College, and Pennsylvania’s Lou Barletta once tried out for the Cincinnati Reds.

The Hazleton Republican – wearing a Harrisburg Senators outfit – found himself on the mound later in the game, as did Meehan. Shuster – touted by Roll Call as a “player to watch” – snapped a bat over his leg during one frustrating attempt to get on base.

The now-traditional event, which draws hundreds of staffers, journalists and other D.C. wonks, traces its roots back to a Pennsylvanian. Former baseball player and Rep. John Tener of Pittsburgh (who later served as governor of the commonwealth) organized the first game in 1909.

Proceeds from game tickets are donated to The Washington Literacy Council and The Boys and Girls Club of Greater Washington. The seven-inning was called early due to approaching thunderstorms, but the Democrats already had tallied a 15-6 lead, continuing what is now a six-year winning streak.

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