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May 17, 2012
RAND Slam!, a team from the Senate Softball League, bares the name of Sen. Rand Paul. And the team plays in the league named after the chamber in which the Kentucky Republican serves.
But it appears that the roster’s roots might not be from the tea party darling’s office.
Earlier this week, our “Team Name of the Day” tweet commended the team for its clever fusion of the Senator’s first name and the four-run jack.
Earlier today, Moira Bagley, the Senator’s communications director, tweeted back with a hint of surprise that someone was playing under the banner of her boss’ first name.
“But we don’t have a team! Wonder who it could be,” she said.
We tweeted Bagley back, expressing our surprise that the team was not associated with Paul’s office.
Now, like Bagley, we’re beginning to wonder what collection of individuals plays for the team. And more importantly, who thought of that cool name?
Softball is a merciless sport, played in the cruelest months, capable of driving its participants to the depths of despair.
Actually, as Elizabeth Podrebarac and Ivan Sciupac discovered, the sport can have a Cupid-like touch.
Podrebarac, a research assistant at the Pew Research Center, and Sciupac, a publications manager for an IT contractor, are both members of the Pew’s Your Daddy softball team. The love story of the couple, which is set to tie the knot in July, has an athletic twist: The romance sprang up during participation in the Congressional Softball League.
May 16, 2012
After being rained out three consecutive weeks, Jerry Duty finally got a chance to show its stuff on the Mall this week. And boy, did they show up.
Jerry Duty (1-0), representing the office of Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), laid a 17-1 smackdown on the Wooden Bats of Sen. Dick Durbin’s (D-Ill.) office Wednesday night. Pitcher Will Ruder knocked in three of Duty’s seven homers to spearhead an impressive offensive effort.
“I was just trying to put some contact on it, and it actually worked out. All the credit goes to White Lightning,” Ruder said, pointing at his bat.
Jerry Duty’s big bats were aided by the small field on the corner of 14th Street and Madison Drive.
May 15, 2012
Chandler Lockhart is a softball junkie.
The first baseman for Dam It, a team mostly made up of players from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Lockhart had a stellar night in Tuesday’s 14-13 extra-inning win over the Grunley Bears.
He jump-started his team’s offense with a first inning home run. It was an early sign of how dominant his bat would be throughout. His final line included another bomb and a pair of singles.
Lockhart is currently a senior consultant for Booz Allen Hamilton. Tuesday through Thursday, you can catch him out on the Mall or at Anacostia park playing first base for one of the three teams he’s on. This is his first season playing for three different teams.
May 14, 2012
The classic Carpenters’ tune “Rainy Days and Mondays” would have been a perfect play Monday night against the backdrop of a wet, soggy and desolate National Mall.
Your humble correspondent walked and waited for some Congressional, House or Senate softball.
Instead, in the course of 45 minutes, he got a flurry of empty baseball fields. There wasn’t even a trace of departing players who showed up with their glove and the hope that the rain would subside.
When the games will be rescheduled is anyone’s guess. But if teams are eyeing tomorrow evening, they may suffer the same result.
According to the Weather Channel’s website, there’s a 60 percent chance of showers in Washington on Tuesday.
Lauren Worley single-handedly piloted the NASA softball team, Deep Space 9, off the launching pad.
Worley is the press secretary for the space agency in Washington, D.C. At the beginning of the year, she dreamed up the idea of NASA having its first softball team.
“I was like, ‘Hey we need a softball team,’” she told her co-workers.
The idea sold well with her colleagues. Shortly after word got out, 41 people enlisted for the athletic endeavor. This season, you won’t hear any tale of woe about an undermanned roster from Deep Space 9.
May 11, 2012
Is Pew’s Your Daddy the “coolest team in the Congressional Softball League”?
A five-minute YouTube video makes the case for the team, which is made up of people with connections to the Pew Charitable Trusts and Pew Research Center.
Set to the song “You! Me! Dancing!” by Welsh indie band Los Campesinos! (exclamation points all theirs), the video follows the course of a game, from setting up home base to beers at Froggy Bottom Pub.
Along the way, cans of beer are shotgunned, balls are hit and two players photobomb interviews with brief moonings. Also on display are the team’s different T-shirts, including one that simply says “Daddies,” one with the logo of the Church of the SubGenius and another with Darth Vader on it.
Are they the coolest? Decide for yourself. (Video SFW or NSFW, depending on your boss’ attitude toward mooning.)
May 10, 2012
Microsoft’s search engine might be a distant second to Google, but the company has got softball down.
The software giant’s Bada Bings (4-0) came out firing Thursday night and never looked back, cruising to a 20-11 victory over Pew’s Your Daddy (0-2) in Congressional Softball League action at Monument Field No. 4.
“We repeatedly failed in the field at catching and throwing the ball,” Pew captain Aaron Smith said.
Microsoft started strong, ripping off eight runs in the first three innings and taking a commanding seven-run lead into the fourth. The Daddies didn’t go down quietly, though, responding with some impressive hitting of their own — Ivan Sciupac, Richard Auxier and Mike “Bones” Bolinder all knocked in homers in the top of the fifth.
Other than spring rain, nothing can put a damper on the Congressional softball season like not being able to find a place to play.
Though officials with each of the three Capitol Hill softball leagues differed in assessing how difficult construction taking place on the National Mall will make it for their teams, all agreed that it is problematic in one form or another.
May 9, 2012
Beth Preiss brought some hardball tradition to the softball field Wednesday night.
While many of the softball teams feature team captains who play, Preiss holds the title of “manager” for the SIGTARP Watchdogs. And like those with the same title at the big league level, you won’t see her rounding third anytime soon. Full story
May 8, 2012
On each league’s official sites is a link to a visual of outlawed bats. The policies appear to have been tailored after the Amateur Softball Association’s guidelines.
Some of the bats, such as the Easton Synergy 2 and the Louisville Slugger SB304, were grandfathered out by the association at the beginning of 2008 after previously being allowed 2 mph variance.
All of the outlawed bats are aluminum. Maybe, like Robert Redford in “The Natural,” Capitol Hill’s softball players just prefer a wooden bat.
The permit conquers all.
Teams hoping to avoid scrambling for a field to play on this season went to the National Park Service to get out in front of what could be a major problem for many teams.
In a March lottery, the department awarded 30 teams season long permits to play on a designated weeknight. The permit is a logistical boost due to the reduced number of fields available near the Washington Monument.
See which teams lucked out here.
May 7, 2012
Today’s forecast looks great for softball. The partly cloudy skies will keep the sun out of batters’ eyes, and there’s only a 10 percent chance of rain.
(Watch the rain more around the north and west of the city here).
But the chances of rain increase tomorrow and Wednesday. So don’t say we didn’t warn you.
May 4, 2012
By day, Anthony Reed is senior director of government relations for Archer Daniels Midland. By night, he’s the creative brains behind the visually appealing House Softball League website.
He’s also president of the league, which splintered away from the Congressional Softball League in 2006 following a dispute over playoff formatting.
On the front page of the site, viewers are greeted with a professional — and distressed — looking logo of the Capitol, along with a real-life shot of what appears to be an empty third base line. The site features categorical breakdowns of upcoming matchups, a five-year league standings archive and a link to the league’s own newsletter. Full story