Members of Congress coming to Wednesday’s Nats game

(Alex Brandon/AP)
(Alex Brandon/AP)

Last season’s first-place Nats helped prompt 73 stories about how the first-place Nats were bringing first-place people together across party lines, to put their differences aside and rejoice as one while the D.C. Nine clawed their way past lesser foes from parts North East and West, even though everything inside the Beltway is supposed to be awful, but whatever.

“Rooting for Nationals is bipartisan affair,” for example.

“The Nationals are a true bipartisan success story,” for another.

“Washington Nationals transcend politics, give chattering class something to agree on,” for a third.

“Washington’s annoying consensus on the Nationals,” for a fourth, with a twist.

And now, that bi-partisan consensus will be codified and photographed and live-tweeted during Wednesday night’s “Congressional Night with the Nationals.” Via a Nats press release:

In collaboration with Rep. David B. McKinley (R-WV) and Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO), the Nationals will promote and celebrate two great American traditions: baseball and bipartisanship. For the first time, more than 50 Members of Congress from both sides of the aisle are expected to travel to Nationals Park to see the team take on the New York Mets. The Members will take part in a group photo opportunity on the Grand Staircase near Home Plate Gate before attending a pregame reception at the ballpark.

As impressive as that sounds, Roll Call’s David Hawkings reports the number could be even greater. The event, he wrote,

Will include a members’ only reception beforehand, a big bloc of right field seats set aside for lawmakers and their aides, the Capitol Police doing color guard duty and a chorus of 90 staffers belting out the National Anthem. And, even though the party is cash bar and the seats cost $34, tickets have already been sold to 71 House members — one sixth of the membership.

Senators haven’t been recruited to get in on the action. But the two House members who have been working for almost a year to put the event together — as a gesture toward improved civility, if not genuine camaraderie — are confident that word of mouth will get at least another 30 of their colleagues to show up as paying customers.

So, up to 100 Congresspersons at Nats Park? Or maybe even more! Take it away, In the Loop:

McKinley and DeGette initially hoped to get 50 members to sign up for the outing, but they’re already at nearly 100, and the new goal is to get 150 lawmakers to go.

So now we’re talking about dang near a third of the House, in right field, for a Mets game? Will they sing Take On Me? Do the Shark Chomp? Grumble about Danny Espinosa? Pose for photos with Terrance? Get in fights about the wave? Please let them get in fights about the wave.

But wait! That’s not all! The presenting sponsor of Wednesday night’s game is the U.S. Chamber of Congress, which will kick off its “On the Road With Free Enterprise” initiative at Nats Park, and will also hold a press event outside the Center Field Gate from 5:45-6:15. And also, Joe Epstein, “one of two Free Enterprise Tour Guides, will make the ‘Play Ball’ announcement prior to First Pitch.”

Anyhow, if you don’t go to Wednesday’s game, you’re basically saying you hate fun things.

Oh, and all tickets purchased through the Congressional program — at the standard government discount — include a $5 donation to the Wounded Warrior Project.

Dan Steinberg writes about all things DC sports at the DC Sports Bog.
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Dan Steinberg | June 3, 2013