Managers for the Republican and Democratic baseball teams appeared on C-SPAN’s “Washington Journal” Thursday morning to talk about their odds of victory and the beauty of the annual Roll Call Congressional Baseball Game.
“First of all it is a lot of fun and the members enjoy the game,” Rep. Mike Doyle, D-Pa., said. “But three charities receive a real benefit from this game, and that is what really excites us.” Last year, according to Doyle, the game raised more than $400,000 for the Washington Literacy Council, the National Dream Foundation and the Boys and Girls Club of Washington, D.C.
Although the game can be competitive — the two parties are tied at 38 wins each — the team managers see it as a method of fostering bipartisanship.
“Well, it is a chance for both the Republicans and the Democrats to have some great fellowship,” Rep. Joe L. Barton, R-Texas, said.
“Everybody volunteers,” he added. “It is not mandatory. So you get these congressmen and senators coming out at 6:30 in the morning. It creates some real special, positive vibration.”
The game also affords congressmen and senators the rare opportunity to engage their colleagues from across the aisle “without the suits on and debating on the house floor,” Doyle said.
Both managers were buoyant about their chances of winning Tuesday night in the 54th annual game. Doyle said his team looks “pretty sharp” despite star pitcher Cedric L. Richmond’s shoulder surgery earlier this year.
Barton enlisted the National Republican Congressional Committee to recruit new players to his roster and plans to stymie the Democrats.
“We’ll be more competitive tonight,” Barton said.
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