Baseball Firsts & Notables
First Known Grand Slam: Representative Gerald Ford of Michigan hit the first known grand slam in the second inning of the 1957 game.
First Use of a Pinch Runner: In 1913, Samuel Winslow of Massachusetts (a former college baller) could hit, but not run. Both teams agreed that when he reached base, a House Page could run in his place.
First Home Run: Representative Joe O’Connell of Massachusetts hit the first home run in 1909. In the seventh inning, O’Connell knocked a three-run home run out of the park.
First Umpire: In 1909, Fr. James Reynolds from New Jersey served as the first umpire. Earlier, Democrats had blocked Republican Speaker Joe Cannon of Illinois from calling the balls and strikes.
First Injury: In 1909, Representative Edward B. Vreeland of New Jersey hurt himself practicing on the White House Ellipse. Vreeland was relegated to the bench for the game.
First Woman to Participate: In 1917, Representative Jeannette Rankin of Montana was recruited to keep score along with Joe Cannon.
Most Runs Scored in an Inning: In the 1928 game, Democrats scored 20 runs in the second inning of the game.
First Radio Broadcast: In 1928, WRC broadcast the game sports announcers; Thorton Fisher and John B. Daniel, called the game with microphones installed behind home plate.
First Senator to Play: In 1950, Senator Henry Cain of Washington was the starting pitcher for the Republicans.
First African-American Players: In 1971, Representative Ronald Dellums of CA and Delegate Walter Fauntroy of DC were first African Americans to play congressional ball, joining the Democrats’ roster as a relief pitcher and right fielder, respectively.
First Women Players: In 1993, Representatives Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida (second base), Maria Cantwell of Washington (outfield), and Blanche Lincoln Lambert of Arkansas (outfield/pinch hitter) were the first women to play in the annual game.