US & World

Congressman Joe Baca again voted MVP of congressional baseball game

Winning pitcher and Democratic congressman Joe Baca
Winning pitcher and Democratic congressman Joe Baca
Kitty Felde/KPCC

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Next week, the best in baseball will be in Anaheim for the 59th All Star Game. Last week, the best on Capitol Hill showed up for the 49th annual ballgame between congressional Democrats and Republicans. Once again, the MVP was a scrappy pitcher from San Bernardino.

The D.C. tradition raised more than $150,000 for charity. Democratic Congressman Joe Baca pitched the entire seven innings, throwing 107 pitches and seven strikeouts. "This year, though," he says, "I really played injured. And with maturing age, it doesn’t heal as quick as we used to."

Baca, a 63-year-old who’s played some semi-pro ball, says he had to rely on his curve and changeup instead of his fastball this year. He allowed five runs, but his Democratic teammates scored 13.

"I’ve always said if you make the fundamental plays and execute and the team that makes the least mistakes will end up winning, and we made less than they did, and that’s why we prevailed."

Baca says the same principle applies to this fall’s midterm elections – stick to the fundamentals and make fewer mistakes than your opponent.