Congressional Baseball Game

Democrats starting pitcher Rep. Cedric Richmond, D-La., throws during the first inning of the Congressional Baseball Game at Nationals Park in Washington, Wednesday, June 26, 2019. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Congressional Democrats will be gaining a strong voice in the White House when U.S. Rep. Cedric Richmond takes a job as a senior adviser to President Joe Biden after Jan. 20.

But Democrats will be losing their star player in the annual congressional baseball game between sitting members of the two political parties.

In fact, perhaps no player has been more dominant in the history of the game than Richmond, who both starred on the mound and at the plate.

I get to retire 8-0,” Richmond said Tuesday at his press conference in New Orleans where he announced plans to resign his House seat, where he has represented New Orleans and parts of Jefferson Parish, the river parishes and Baton Rouge.

Last year, the website FiveThirtyEight calculated that Richmond’s stats since 2009 so far outpace those of other players during that period that he was equivalent to being the best pitcher and hitter combined in Major League Baseball. The article noted that not even two former Major League pitchers who served in Congress years ago were known to be as dominant.

Richmond typically wore a jersey of his alma mater, Morehouse College, where he pitched.

Richmond was relatively humble about his accomplishments, saying they were “relative” to the competition.

“So, in the woods when you’re being chased by a bear, you don’t have to be stronger than the bear or faster than the bear,” he said. “You just have to be faster than the person you’re with,” he said. “So, in that context, I did not have to be Hank Aaron or Willie Mays to do well in the Congressional Baseball Game. It was only Republicans I was playing against.”

In a statement, U.S. Rep. Garret Graves, a Republican from Baton Rouge, said he would miss Richmond’s efforts for Louisiana in the House but won’t miss him in the ballgame.

Hewing to the official Republican line that Biden has not officially won the election, Graves said in a statement that “with his potential departure comes the nationwide fulfillment that the Republicans will have a fighting chance to take back the title of being congressional baseball game champions.”

Email Tyler Bridges at tbridges@theadvocate.com.