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Ron Paul stars in Astros rainbow uniform at ’76 Congressional ballgame

David Brown
Big League Stew

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Hey, is that Cesar Cedeño or Ron Paul?

Almost nobody likes Congress. The polls say so. But I'll say this for the federal legislature: Republicans and Democrats play each other in a baseball game every year, and that partly makes up for whatever it is they do the rest of the time.

Back in December, Summer Anne Burton of NotGraphs published a wonderful post called "GOP Presidential Candidates and Baseball" that explored how each of the hopefuls has been affiliated with the national pastime. The runaway winner was Ron Paul, simply because he happened to be photographed wearing a customized Houston Astros uniform while playing for the Republicans in the 1976 game at Memorial Stadium in Baltimore. Many of the politicos who play today still wear the uniform of their local club. What a wonderfully silly excuse to dress up.

But Paul really did it right: Rainbow, star, stirrups. The only thing missing is white cleats. (I'm not sure what I think of putting his entire name on the back of the jersey. That's a violation.) Still, he'd fit right in with Jose Cruz, Enos Cabell and J.R. Richard. And check out those forearms. Nice to meet you, Mr. Garvey, err, Dr. Paul. With guns like those, it might not surprise you to realize that Paul reportedly hit the only home run over the fence in the history of the Congressional series — so says his son Sen. Rand Paul.

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Ron Paul could swing a bat. (Libertatiangirl@Flickr)

No matter what you think of Paul's politics — look at that swing! Arms extended, head down, back foot dug in. Up in Hitting Coach Heaven, Charlie Lau is smiling. I don't think the above photo is of Paul hitting his legendary homer — that reportedly came sometime in the 1980s — but it's nice to imagine it happening at Memorial Stadium, where Brooks Robinson, Cal Ripken and Eddie Murray cut their teeth.

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