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Historical Highlights

The 1949 Congressional Baseball Game

June 03, 1949
The 1949 Congressional Baseball Game Collection of the U.S. House of Representatives
About this object
On this date, the Democrats defeated the Republicans by a score of 16 to 10 in the Congressional Baseball Game. Originally organized in 1909, the game grew in popularity throughout the century. Despite its appeal, however, the annual game occurred intermittently during the Great Depression and the Second World War. From 1946 to 1958, the Washington Evening Star newspaper sponsored an annual congressional baseball game featuring Democrats and Republicans from the House and Senate. In the 1949 contest, before a crowd of 3,000 people, the game remained competitive until the final inning. The Democrats broke a 10-10 tie with two extra base hits. Relief pitcher Al Gore, Sr., of Tennessee led the last-inning rally when he brought two men home with a solid hit down the third base line. New York Representative Chester Gorski also contributed to the heroics with a blooper that scored three runs. The Democrats added another run on their way to defeating the Republicans for a second straight year. Impressed by Gore’s performance, the Chicago Tribune nevertheless poked fun at Gorski’s double reporting, “it wouldn’t have been a hit in any league except the congressional.” Clinton McKinnon, a Democratic freshman representing California, broke his foot during the game. According to the Washington Post, a friend of McKinnon’s son later jested, “That’s what your father gets for trying to play ball with the Republicans.”

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