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Play Ball!

June 25, 2007 | 11:01 am

Democrats may be back in control of Congress but if history is any guide, they'll be hard-pressed to establish their dominence in another arena.

Baseball teams comprised of lawmakers from each party square off this evening at Washington's RFK Stadium, and it will be a major upset if the Democrats prevail. Since 1962, Republicans have won 31 of the 45 games played, including a 12-1 rout last year.

Heath_shuler Democrats do boast a new name on the roster --– freshman Rep. Heath Shuler of North Carolina, a former star college quarterback who also played (though not too memorably) in the pros. Another Democratic player --- Rep. Linda Sanchez of California, who got a single as a pinch hitter last year.

For Sanchez, the game offers an opportunity to deliver a message. She wears the number IX on her uniform to commemorate the passage 35 years ago of Title IX, which gave equal funding to boys and girls athletic programs. “Title IX is about getting an opportunity and making the most of it,” she said in a statement today to The Times' Johanna Neuman. “I wear ‘IX’ as a reminder that women can play hardball with the big boys, whether on the field or in the boardroom.”

Sanchez blogs about it on the Huffington Post.

-- Don Frederick

Photo: Heath Shuler; Credit:Jane Rudolph/AP