A gift from a friend

One of my favorite stories from The Onion, a satirical newspaper I like to read, tells of a White House slam dunk competition that results in no slam dunks. “I tell you, this is some sorry stuff I’m seeing,” celebrity judge and former San Antonio Spur George “Iceman” Gervin is quoted as saying in the story. “The three-point contest was bad enough, but this is just depressing.”

Well, I now have something comparable that’s real.

One of my best friends lives in Washington D.C. and works on Capitol Hill, running the mail room for a senator. My friend just came into town to visit over the holidays, and he presented me with the official program from the 48th Annual Roll Call Congressional Baseball Game this past June. I have a lot of baseball programs from over the years. This is probably the only one that includes ads for the National Archives, the Congressional Federal Credit Union and something called the German Chancellor Fellowship Program.

The program includes a recap of the 2008 game (the Republicans won, for the eighth straight year) and a roster of both teams. Former NFL quarterback Heath Shuler, a representative from North Carolina, was part of the Democratic team; Florida representative Connie Mack IV, meanwhile, is listed with the Republicans, as is Tom Rooney, part of the family that owns the Pittsburgh Steelers. There’s even a Congressional Baseball Hall of Fame, denoted on pages 16 and 17 of the magazine, which shows pictures of all the members, including NFL Hall of Fame wide receiver Steve Largent.

There seems to be a Hall of Fame for everything these days.

I showed the program to my mom, a conservative Republican who is generally enthusiastic about politics. I thought she might think the program was nifty, but she just shook her head. “They have entirely too much money,” she told me.

I may have to agree with her. Then again, as the game is played at the home park for the Washington Nationals, it should at least give the locals a nice break from typically bleak baseball.