Baltimore Orioles: A game of a different meaning


As the Baltimore Orioles settle in for the third and final game of their three-game set, I’m reminded that today is Flag Day. While it may come off as any other day, here in Baltimore, the home of the national anthem, it’s a bit more serious. There’s no greater symbol of our country than the Stars and Stripes flying proud and free over a baseball diamond.

Courtesy of Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

So on that note my mind drifts to perhaps one of the coolest traditions down in DC, which annually brings Democrats and Republicans together. Well, perhaps not together, as they’re technically competing against each other – but in a different sense. Thursday evening at Nationals Park the annual Congressional Baseball game was played, pitting congressional Democrats against Congressional Republicans.

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  • This is a pretty awesome tradition, and for what it’s worth the Democrats defeated the GOP 5-2. It was the Democrats’ seventh victory in a row, however this year there was a special twist. President Obama showed up in the middle of the game, and after a brief stoppage in play sat in the Democratic dugout. Ironically, not everyone (not even on the Democratic side) were totally happy with that:

    "Listen, I love the president. And I’m always happy when he comes. But it was kind of like a circus for a while with him out here. – Rep. Mike Doyle (D-PA), Manager of the Democrats"

    However that aside, this is a tradition that’s meant to be in good fun and in the spirit of competition. If you’re looking for the normal on-the-spot analysis that you expect of us here at Birds Watcher, I’ll offer up only the fact that the Democrats have an ace-in-the-hole in a sense, with Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-LA) on the mound. Richmond was a pitcher in college, and pitched the full seven innings that the teams played.

    College pitcher or not, I’d say that’s pretty impressive for a guy who doesn’t do this everyday. Granted the competition is much stronger, but there are lots of big league pitchers who can’t do that! The Republicans threw Rep. Mark Walker (R-NC), who made it into the last of the sixth. Again, that’s pretty impressive for a guy that doesn’t do this on the professional level.

    The Congressional Baseball Game is an annual tradition that’s gone on with a few exceptions since 1909. And again as we sit here on Flag Day, I think it’s a great tradition. Maybe things would run smoother down in DC if events like this occurred more often. And I know that sounds rhetorical, but it could just work. Admission each year is $10 for the public, and the proceeds go to charity.

    Baseball is partially about tradition, and in my view this is a really great one. And from everything I’ve read about the event, a lot of the representatives and senators play for keeps. Having said that, perhaps the coolest moment of a very cool event was President Obama posing for a picture with all five of the Washington Nationals’ racing Presidents. At the end of the day, we should always pay hommage to those who came before us, right?!

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