Congressman Trent Kelly is gearing up to represent Mississippi in the annual Congressional Baseball Game for Charity later this month and will be showing his pride for one DeSoto County School in particular.
Started in 1909, the Congressional Baseball Game has become a beloved tradition for both politicians and citizens. The game, an annual bipartisan event, supports charities such as The Washington Literacy Center, The Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Washington and the Washington Nationals Dream Foundation. The game also contributes to the United States Capitol Police Memorial Fund in honor of the brave officers who intervened at a shooting during a Republican practice in June 2017. Each of the two teams is composed of congressmen from each political party. This year’s game will be held at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C. on June 26 and will feature 25 Democrats and 44 Republicans on its roster.
Congressmen on both sides of the game traditionally wear different high school and college jerseys during each inning to show support for their state.
Kelly, who was elected to represent the First District of Mississippi in June 2015, has played in the Congressional Baseball Game since 2016. He represented Ole Miss in 2016; Northwest Community College, Itawamba Community College and Northeast Community College in 2017; and Ole Miss and the Mississippi Braves in 2018. This year, DeSoto Central High School is among the schools that Kelly is representing.
For Kelly, showing support for a local high school is about helping a school in his district be recognized for their achievements and about bringing their accomplishments to the forefront.
“Most of these teams aren’t known, so it gets them known on the national stage,” Kelly said.
Kelly exudes nothing but pride for DeSoto Central and the school’s accomplishments.
“They’re such a great team, back-to-back championships,” Kelly said. “That’s impressive.”
Although Democrats and Republicans will be competing against each other in the Congressional Game, the game also brings together congressmen from both political parties and, according to its website, is a chance for members of each party to “solidify friendships off the floor and on the field.” It’s rare to see this in today’s politics, but a friendly game of baseball outside of the political sphere may just be enough to get rival parties to set aside their differences for a day.
Although Kelly points out that “both sides want to win,” he reaffirmed the unity that the game promotes and noted how the 2017 shooting especially brought both sides together on the field. He also stated the importance of this unity.
“We fight about the things we need to fight about,” Kelly said. “[But] we have a duty and obligation to come together for the nation.”
Kelly serves on the House Agriculture Committee and the House Small Business Committee, as well as the House Armed Services Committee, where he serves as the Military Personnel Subcommittee, Ranking Member. Kelly has served for 33 years in the Mississippi Army National Guard and has received numerous federal and state awards for his military service.
To find more information about the Congressional Baseball Game or to donate, visit https://www.congressionalbaseball.org/.
Brent Walker is Staff Writer for the DeSoto Times-Tribune.