Phillies pitcher warming up for congressional bid?
© Greg Nash

Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Cole Hamels says there’s a “possibility” he could trade the pitchers’ mound for the halls of the Capitol.

“There’s always possibilities. Never say never,” the Major League Baseball star told The Hill, when asked if he would consider a run for public office much like Rep. Jon Runyan (R-N.J.). The retiring congressman is a former National Football League offensive tackle for the Philadelphia Eagles.

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Runyan was one of several lawmakers on hand Thursday at a Rayburn House Office Building lunch briefing touting the work of The Hamels Foundation, the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, and Nothing but Nets. Hamels and his wife, Heidi, created their family’s eponymous nonprofit to support education in American schools and create a school in Malawi, Africa’s poorest country. 

“Full disclosure — I’m a Pittsburgh Pirates fan,” professed Rep. Michael Doyle (D-Pa.), to chuckles from the crowd gathered at the event.

Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.) called for Hamels to bring his athletic abilities to Capitol Hill. “When your career decides to end by your choice and follow the steps of another, we do need a pitcher in the Republican caucus,” he quipped. 

The Republicans lost this year’s annual Congressional Baseball game earlier this summer after a stellar performance by Democratic pitcher (and college baseball player) Rep. Cedric Richmond (La.). 

Thirty-year-old Hamels, who faces off against the Washington Nationals on Sunday, appeared open to lending his pitching prowess when asked if he would join a congressional baseball team. 

“Yeah, that would be something fun,” he replied. “I don’t know. I’d probably try to do every sport,” Hamels said. He then added, “It’s something I think is just good community involvement with everybody and bonding with a lot of other fellow representatives.”

This post was updated at 4:57 p.m. to reflect the day Hamels will pitch in Washington.