An Annual Outing: The Congressional Baseball Game
In 1909 Representative John Tener of Pennsylvania, a former professional baseball player, organized the inaugural Congressional Baseball Game.
What began as a casual game among colleagues has evolved into one of Congress’s most anticipated annual pastimes. Each summer, Representatives and Senators don baseball uniforms, organize teams along party lines, and play ball for charity. The Congressional Baseball Game has raised millions of dollars for local charities in the District of Columbia. Spectators include Members, congressional staffers, and, occasionally, U.S. Presidents. More than 100 years later, the Congressional Baseball Game has grown into an institution of its own.
Representative James Richards of South Carolina summarized the spirit of the games in a 24 May 1948 House Floor speech.
Mister Speaker, in all seriousness, I want to say that it is a fine thing when two great parties of a great Nation, the greatest Nation on the face of the earth, can drop the care and worries of Capitol Hill, forget about the heat and temporary animosities of debate, and go out at night to a baseball field where the great American game is played. It is a wonderful thing to get together and show the people of the United States that regardless of the fact that we sometimes differ on party matters, that after all we love our country and our flag, and like every boy in America, we love our great national game.