The name of Rep. William V. Chappell Jr. (D-Fla.), manager of the House Democratic baseball team, was misspelled in some editions of yesterday's newspaper.
Before the first pitch was hurled last night, the annual baseball contest between congressional Republicans and Democrats sparked a controversy. The Republicans won the game 9 to 3, but the argument involving the field on which it was played may continue to ruffle some local feathers.
John Colantuoni, general manager of the American Legion's Alexandria Post 24, said his baseball team was kicked off its home field at Four Mile Run Park last Saturday because of field preparations for the congressional game.
Colantuoni said the city thus showed preferential treatment for the elected ballplayers.
The legionnaires had been requesting those repairs for more than a year, he said, and had been forced to play on a dusty, uneven field.
"We offered to do it repair the field for their all-star game," said John Vinci, chief of the city's recreational sports program, and the field would have been ready for that game next Tuesday.
Mayor James P. Moran said he was sorry that the city's maintanence crews did not finish the repairs in time for the legion's game last Saturday, but he said they received ample notice about the congressional game.
The mayor, who attended the 24th annual congressional game last night, said he wondered if the legionnaires' complaint was based more on a desire for publicity than an aggravation over preferential treatment for congressmen.
As it was played, the congressmen's game featured a lot of action, but still mustered more laughs than hits as there seemed to be more dropped fly balls than line drives.
The game, played for the benefit of Children's Hospital, brought out a suit-and-tie crowd and a number of notables, including former baseball commissioner Bowie Kuhn.
Asked who he thought would win during the first inning when the Democrats scored two runs on one hit and three errors, Kuhn declared: "I've studied these two teams and believe neither will win."
Rep. Silvio Conte of Massachusetts, who coached the Republican team and earlier in the day had called his Democratic colleagues "gaggly goof-offs," declared his team's victory a clear sign of Republican dominance on Capitol Hill.
"The Democrats played pathetically. I really feel badly for them," he said.
Conte said the Democrats, who were charged with four errors, played true to form. "They are used" to fumbling "on the House floor every day."
William Shappell Jr. (D-Fla.), manager of the losing team, said afterward that the Republican victory had no political significance. "It doesn't mean a thing." He added, "They put it to us tonight, we'll put it to them tomorrow."
The Republican victory means that Conte's team brings home a trophy for winning a best-of-five series begun in 1980.
Each team had won two games and tied the third 17 to 17 after 32 innings in 1983.
Since congressional baseball games were revived in 1961, Republicans have won 17 games and the Democrats six.
David Maider, 23, who is touring the country stopping off at all American League baseball stadiums, said that in the 8,000 miles he has traveled since leaving Seattle, he had not seen anything quite like last night's game.
"Pursell Rep. Carl Pursell (R-Mich.) is the worst. He dropped a fly ball and they didn't even call it an error because he didn't even come close." Maider, a recent graduate of the University of Washington, conceded, "I guess, considering their age, they're doing real well."