Tag Archives: Nationals Park

The Annual “Congressional Baseball Game”

             “Ron Paul Stars in 1983 Congressional Baseball Game”

congressional baseball flyerTo tell you the truth, I never heard of our congressman playing an annual baseball game.  From 1909 to 1949 both teams were filled with members of the House.  Members of the Senate were not prohibited from playing, they just didn’t participate.  Separate teams are comprised of Republicans and Democrats who play against each other.   The games are played for charity and they raise more than $100,000 annually for local area charities in the District of Columbia. 

"Congressman Ron Paul" in the Line-up

“Congressman Ron Paul” in the Line-up

Rep. Ron Paul of Texas was on the Republican team in the 1980’s.  He was elected to the Roll Call Congressional Baseball Hall of Fame in 2012 and was the first player  in the history of  this series to hit an over-the-wall home run in 1979.  In the 1983 game, shown in the above video,  Paul went 2 for 3 and is considered one of the best players to have played in the annual game.  This particular game ended in a 17-17 Tie. 

Originally each team had “Republicans” or “Democrats” embroidered on their uniforms but in recent years teammates  wear uniforms of the teams from their congressional district or home state.  Games have been held historically throughout the Washington, D. C. area and in the past few years have been played at the newly built Nationals Park. 

Back in 1914 the baseball game interrupted an Appropriations bill debate on Civil War cotton damage because there wasn’t a quorum present.  It seems they were all at the baseball game.  The House eventually resumed with a quorum when rain interrupted the game, but nothing was decided as the members apparently still had their minds on the unfinished game, which brings me to the reason I decided to write this little ditty.

"Democrats Win Trophy 2011"

“Democrats Win Trophy 2011″

I wonder how much could have been accomplished if congress had decided to take the budget hearings out to the ballpark this year.  I don’t understand much about the “fiscal cliff” but it has something to do with the budget and debt reduction.   Can’t you just see Harry Reid, John Boehner and Nancy Pelosi, all decked out in their uni’s, socks pulled high, waiting for the challenge?   I know, I know ~ it’s no laughing matter, but it makes me chuckle just to think about it.   A decision was finally made three hours before the midnight EST deadline tonight, when the Senate agreed to a deal to avert the fiscal cliff.   The House will vote later.

Hopefully, they’ll be able to take to the ballpark for the final vote before April when the regular season starts.  I don’t know why, but things seem to happen on a timely basis at the ballpark ~ results oriented you know?   Who knows, it just might work!

“What’s up with those Washington Nationals?”

Who would have thought the team leading the National League this year would be those lowly Nationals?   This team started out as the Montreal Expo’s in 1969 and moved to Washington in 2005, much to the delight of  syndicated columnist, Charles Krauthammer.  I had no idea he was into baseball until I read a column he wrote back in September, 2011, about his beloved Nats.  Titled “The Best Game in Town“, here’s an excerpt:

“Now, when mortals throw a ball, they give it arc to gain distance. That’s how artillery works. Ankiel is better than artillery. He releases the ball at the top of his throwing motion, the ball rocketing out as if tracing a clothesline. It bounces five feet from third base, perfectly on-line, arriving a millisecond before the batter and maybe 20 inches above the bag. Quick tag. Batter out. Game saved. (Blown five innings later. But remember, it’s the Nats.)”

This is great stuff.  And then in December, 2010, we wrote this post “The Nationals’ Stephen Strasburg, Miracle or Mistake?”  and, as predicted, Steven Strasburg has returned in great form after his Tommy John surgery.  In addition, the Nationals organization brought a few weapons on-board to help things along;  Jayson Werth and Mark DeRosa.  Shortly after I heard about the Jayson Werth acquisition it was rumored the Nats were in serious talks with Cliff Lee.  It was a heart-stopper and now I’m starting to pay really close attention to the 2012 Washington Nationals .  Cliff Lee didn’t end up a Nat, but with Jayson Werth and Stephen Strasburg on the roster, it seemed inevitable that good things were going to happen.  And they did.

Today the Nats are leading the National League in the Win-Loss record.  Okay, I know it’s still early in the season, but now that they’ve added the 8# Strasburger to the menu at Nationals Park anything can happen!

I can hardly wait to see what Krauthammer’s going to write next about all this.  Stay tuned  . . . . .

Best Food at the Ballpark in 2012? ~ You Decide!

"Strasburg: Last year's version with butterflied hotdog on top"

I found a great little ditty this morning at the Washington Post.  The Nationals are going to highlight special food from the visiting team’s home town each time they play in Washington.   I recommend you take advantage of  San Francisco’s special food “Garlic Fries” this year, especially since the Giants will be playing at Nationals Park on the 4th of July, and not just because they’re our namesake, but because they’re really, really good!

But for sure you gotta love the special food presented by the Washington Nationals this year, honoring their special pitcher, Stephen Strasburg.  I hear it includes 12 pickles, representing the twelve strike-outs the Stras got in his first outing.   Great article written by Dan Steinberg, from the Washington Post.

Nationals Park introduces 8-pound ‘StrasBurger’

By , Washington Post  Posted at 02:06 PM ET, 03/12/2012

 

The new 8 lb. Strasburger includes fries and a coke! Courtesy "Yardbarker"

(Marvin Joseph – TWP.) As the baseball season approaches, you know what that means on this here blog: lots of updates on the concessions available at Nationals Park.

Our first update concerns the Red Porch, and a brand-new menu item that will get lots of attention from media and fans: The StrasBurger. Via my favorite friends in Nats PR:

Weighing eight pounds total (including toppings), the StrasBurger is a monstrous all beef burger (combination of ground brisket, chuck and short ribs). The burger is served on a large burger bun with our secret sauce, American cheese, shredded lettuce, sliced tomatoes, sliced red onions, pickle chips and served with a cone basket of fresh cut fries and a pitcher of your choice of soft drink. This signature dish is the perfect entrée to share at this affordably-priced family restaurant.

In case you missed the key phrase, this burger WEIGHS EIGHT POUNDS TOTAL, which is a lot of pounds. Even if some of them are onion pounds. Every TV station in this market will have hosts merrily attempting to grapple with the StrasBurger next month. At least, I hope so.The Red Porch will also feature special food and beer pairings that will spotlight area brews, including those from Dogfish Head and Flying Dog. Any time I get to type “Dogfish Head,” I consider that a win.

Also, the Taste of the Majors stand — which has spotlighted a few items from other MLB cities — will now feature a special dish from the city of each visiting opponent while they’re actually in D.C. Those items will all be limited time only offers, obviously.  The list:

Atlanta:   Smothered Fried Chicken Platter
Baltimore:  Pit Beef Sandwich Platter
Arizona:  Dog Platter
Chicago:  Dog Platter
Cincinnati:   5-Way Cincinnati Chili
Colorado:  Mile High Burger
Houston:  Houston Nacho
Los Angeles:  Dog Platter
Miami:   Cuban Dog
Milwaukee:   Beer Brat Platter
New York (Mets and Yankees):   Coney Dog Platter
Philadelphia:   Philly Chicken Cheese Steak Platter
Pittsburgh:   Pitts Burger Platter
St. Louis:   BBQ Rib Platter
San Diego:   Fish Taco Platter
San Francisco:   Garlic Fries and Shrimp Platter
Tampa Bay:  Salty Dog Platter

Geez, this is all making me hungry!  Only 23 Days to Opening Day ~  See you at the ballpark!

“Best Game in Town?” ….. Absolutely!

Whoa!   I don’t care what your political leanings are, this stuff is awesome.  I found it in, of all places, this morning’s editorial section and its pure poetry.  Whenever a writer can take an entire paragraph to describe a throw to first base and keep me hanging on to every word I’m hooked.

Such is the case in this article.  You might remember I wrote on the Washington Nationals Stephen Strasburg last December and have been anxiously waiting for his return,which is  scheduled for this coming Thursday.

So here it is ~ from Thursday’s Washington Post.  See what you think!    

“BEST GAME IN TOWN” By Charles Krauthammer, Published: September 1

In that fleeting interval between natural disaster (earthquake, hurricane) and the president’s 57th (or so) major national address next Thursday, I can finally devote a summer column to the finest efflorescence of that season this city has to offer: the Washington Nationals.They are a baseball team. Not yet very good, mind you, but it matters not.


When you live in a town with a great team, you go to see them win. When you live in a town with a team that is passing rapidly through mediocrity on its way to contention — the Nats have an amazing crop of upcoming young players — you go for the moments. Continue reading