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Congresswomen & Media Play Ball in D.C.

Date: 6/21/12

SGMA Members Support Event With Bats, Balls, or More

SILVER SPRING, MD – June 21, 2012 – Baseball is not the only game in town this summer in our nation’s capital.  While the Washington Nationals are leading the National League East and the Congressional Baseball Game will be played next week, the sport of slow-pitch softball took center stage last night in Washington, D.C. where the 4th Annual Congressional Women’s (Slow-Pitch) Softball Game was contested. 

Unlike the Congressional Baseball Game which pits Democrats vs. Republicans, the softball game is bipartisan. It features female members of Congress (regardless of party affiliation) vs. a media team of women that covers news on Capitol Hill (the Capitol Hill Media, aka Bad News Babes).  The news divisions of the media outlets represented in the game include the New York Times, Associated Press, The Huffington Post, Chicago Sun-Times, CBS News, Rothenburg Report, USA Today, Washington Post, CNN, ABC News, NBC News, Roll Call, Politico, PBS  and Bloomberg.

Last night (Wednesday, June 20), the 4th Annual Congressional Women’s Softball Game was played at the Watkins Recreation Center in Washington, D.C.  The charity that benefits from this game is the Young Survival Coalition, which supports young women battling breast cancer.  Rep. Jo Ann Emerson (R-MO), Rep. Stephanie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) are the founders of the game and all three played in the game last night.

According to Rep. Wasserman Schultz, a breast cancer survivor, the game helped raise nearly $50,000 for the Young Survival Coalition.

The Capitol Hill Media won the first two games of this annual event (2009 and 2010), the Congressional Women won last year, and the Capitol Hill Media recaptured bragging rights last night with a 13-10 victory.  The Congressional Women’s team scored nine of its ten runs in the final two innings, but it was a case of too little, too late!  The Capitol Hill Media team now leads the overall series, 3-1.

Roll Call’s Abby Livingston was named the MVP of the Capitol Hill Media team after taking over as the pitcher in the fifth inning to help end the inning after a series of walks led to five runs by the Congressional Women.

For the Congressional Women, Sen. Gillibrand was named the offensive MVP; Rep. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) was named the team’s overall MVP; Rep. Kathy Castor (D-FL) was the team’s defensive MVP; and Rep. Jean Schmidt (R-OH) was named the team’s improved player.

Among the estimated 900 people in attendance were hundreds of Capitol Hill staffers and many members of the media.  The list of spectators also included Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH), House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD) and Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), who had a vested interest in the game since his daughter Jackie Kucinich is a reporter for USA Today.

The public address duties for the game were handled by Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Andrea Mitchell (MSNBC/NBC News), who is also a breast cancer survivor.

Two of the celebrity umpires in the game were Dr. Dot Richardson, a former U.S. Olympic gold-medal winning softball player, and Sue Enquist, an 11-time national championship softball coach with UCLA.  The Women’s Sports Foundation, in celebration of the 40th anniversary of Title IX, brought Richardson and Enquist to the game.

Five SGMA member companies supported the 4th Annual Congressional Women’s Softball Game with in-kind softball product donations.  They were DeMarini, Hillerich & Bradsby, Mizuno, Nike, and Worth.

“It’s important for SGMA and its member companies in the softball business to support athletic events like this,” said Bill Sells, SGMA’s vice president of government relations.  “While members of Congress remain busy with their jobs on a daily basis, they know it’s important to get exercise and support worthy causes.”
 
The Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association (SGMA), the #1 source for sport and fitness research, is the leading global trade association of manufacturers, retailers, and marketers in the sports products industry.  SGMA helps lead the sports and fitness industries by fostering participation through research, thought leadership, product promotion, and public policy.  More information about SGMA membership and SGMA's National Health Through Fitness Day can be found at www.SGMA.com.

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