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Baseball Game: June 17 at Nationals Park

Members and staffers already battling spring fever, take note: The 48th Annual Roll Call Congressional Baseball Game is just three months away. Reps. Mike Doyle (D-Pa.) and Joe Barton (R-Texas), who each manages his party’s team, have asked Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to approve June 17 as the date of this year’s game.

The game, to be played at Nationals Park, will begin a new series in the best-of-five contest, with Republicans hoping to continue their winning streak. The GOP swept the Democrats in 2008 for its 10th trophy, closing out the series by scoring two runs on an error in the bottom of the last inning to win 11-10.

This year, Democrats hope to reverse the momentum. Freshman Rep. John Boccieri (Ohio), who played baseball at St. Bonaventure University, is expected to join the team. And he may be joined by Rep. Heath Shuler (D-N.C.), the former NFL quarterback who sat out last year’s game because of an injury.

Doyle also mentioned that the Republicans’ loss of two star infielders, former Reps. Kenny Hulshof (Mo.) and Chip Pickering (Miss.), is the Democrats’ gain.

“This is probably the most optimistic I’ve been about our team,— said Doyle, who noted his anxiety about his 0-2 record as manager.

The Democrats will begin practicing following Easter recess in May, meeting as often as possible at the Gallaudet University field on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday mornings while Congress is in session.

The Republicans will continue their tradition of practicing at Four Mile Run field in Alexandria, Va.

Proceeds from the game benefit the Washington Literacy Council and the Boys & Girls Clubs.

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