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The Congressional Baseball Game: America’s Pastime with a Twist

By Andrew Zirkle | WASHINGTON

As peculiar as it may seem, one of the most deep-rooted traditions in the US Congress is the Congressional baseball game, contested annually by teams made up from each of the two major parties.

The first game was organized in 1909 by former pitcher and Representative John Tener. The game originally began with the intent of pure entertainment, but has recently been used to raise money for charity. Although the official Congressional Baseball website lists the record at 39 wins for each party, historical records show that the Republicans have won 42 times to the Democrat’s 39 wins.

Throughout the 108 year history of the game, there have been various hiatuses for the two World Wars and the Great Depression. But this time, however, game organizers have stated that yesterday’s shooting at the Republican’s practice would not postpone the game.

The Hall of Fame for the game has 25 members, and one of the best ever performers was Congressman Ron Paul of Texas who had a .291 batting average, 6 RBI, and 6 runs including the game’s only out of the park homerun in 1979.

Tonight’s game is expected to be contested between 26 Democratic and 33 Republican lawmakers, who will reportedly all be wearing LSU baseball gear in honor of Steve Scalise. According to the game organizers, the game will be carried live on all national television networks. The first pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. ET from Nationals Park in Washington.

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