Both sides had grand old time play­ing ball at Nats Park

The Washington Post Sunday - - SPORTS - BY CLIN­TON YATES clin­ton.yates@wash­ Ex­cerpted from wash­ing­ton­­sports­bog

The hu­mid­ity was grotesquely high, the tal­ent level on the field was ex­tremely low and it was the most fun I’d had at a ball­park in a long time. For a first-timer at the Con­gres­sional Base­ball Game at Na­tion­als Park, Thurs­day night’s tilt be­tween the Democrats and the Repub­li­cans pro­vided a sur­pris­ingly good time, with­out all the bells, whis­tles and has­sles of the big league ex­pe­ri­ence.

Sure the base­ball is atro­cious, but who cares? Lines weren’t crush­ingly long, there were a hand­ful of giveaways at the gate and you know, the pres­i­dent might show up. Un­for­tu­nately, he missed a huge op­por­tu­nity to be a part of the Pres­i­dents Race. Af­ter emerg­ing from the Democrats’ dugout in the fourth in­ning, he sim­ply shook hands and posed for pho­tos in­stead of get­ting in­volved with Teddy’s win.

Be­fore the game, Rep. Lou Bar­letta (R-Pa.) was warm­ing up in right field with his fel­low GOPers. Nor­mally, he would be in the Repub­li­cans’ pitch­ing ro­ta­tion, but the lefty was on the DL. Sport­ing a full Har­ris­burg Sen­a­tors uni­form, he calls the Na­tion­als his Na­tion­als League team. “It’s ex­cit­ing for me be­cause I’m a Yan­kee fan, and in my old dis­trict, I had the Scran­ton Wilkes-Barre Yan­kees. Then I come to Congress and I’m down here with the Nats, and the Nats are my Na­tional League team, and I get them in the mi­nor leagues, so for me it was best of both worlds,” Bar­letta said. “I can’t go wrong.”

Of course, the night was a re­mark­ably Wash­ing­ton event. Peo­ple held up signs that read “Win­ner gets Hil­lary’s per­sonal server,” and many Hill staffers wore ap­parel sup­port­ing their con­gres­sional rep­re­sen­ta­tive. And even though the pres­i­dent made an ap­pear­ance, the most fun mo­ment of the evening came cour­tesy Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-Calif.) the only woman on the field.

Wear­ing Ro­man nu­meral IX (for Ti­tle IX) on the back of her Nor­walk Ea­gles jer­sey, a high school in her dis­trict, she came up to pinch-hit in the sixth in­ning. She was play­ing in her 12th Con­gres­sional Base­ball Game, hav­ing missed only one year in her ten­ure be­cause she had a baby, who is now 6 years old and was sit­ting in the crowd.

On the first pitch, she laced a sin­gle to right field, caus­ing the largest roar of the night. The Dems went on to win, 5-2, and break the se­ries tie while ex­tend­ing their win­ning streak. And on one sum­mer night in Wash­ing­ton, no one was par­tic­u­larly up­set to be on the los­ing side of the aisle.

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