Tennessee lawmakers ditch suits for spikes in lead up to annual baseball game

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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) -- Members of Congress are taking their battles from Capitol Hill to the baseball diamond. Tennessee’s elected representatives tend to stick to a daily diet of suits, ties, and briefings here on Capitol Hill. But in the springtime, they break out bats, gloves and spikes for America’s favorite pastime, at the annual Congressional Baseball Game.

Rep. Tim Burchett (R-TN) is playing in his first Congressional Baseball Game this year. (Source: Gray DC)

“I’ve made some of my best friends on the ball field today like I did when I was a kid,” said Rep. Chuck Fleischmann (R-TN)

Fleischmann is playing for the GOP in his 9th Congressional Baseball Game this year. He says he started playing to forge relationships with lawmakers outside the halls of the Capitol.

“It’s teamwork, it’s baseball, it’s a special fraternity, and this is a special day,” said Fleischmann.

It is also a chance for Fleischmann and company to put politics on the bench, but the competitive nature flowing through these lawmakers still makes its way to the diamond.

“I hate losing. I’m in politics, dude, I don’t like to lose. I’ve never liked to lose. If you do. If you settle on losing you ought to be on the bench,” said Rep. Tim Burchett (R-TN).

Burchett and Fleischmann are the only Tennessee lawmakers stepping in the batter’s box against the Democrats this year. The Democrats crushed the GOP last year. Burchett says he is feeling the heat to perform, especially representing the University of Tennessee Volunteers between the white lines.

“There’s a lot of pressure never to screw up in this game. I mean we’re on the world stage, everything we say and do...yeah it’s a lot of pressure,” said Burchett.

The two parties square off Wednesday, June 26 at Nationals Park in Washington.

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