Brown vs. Kerry: Sports rivalry heats up

Massachusetts Sens. Scott Brown (R) and John Kerry (D) are developing a healthy rivalry, but it’s not over partisan politics. It’s all about sports. 

The athletic lawmakers faced off on the National Mall on Tuesday for a friendly softball game between their office teams, which Brown’s team, the Great Scotts, won handily, 11-6. Brown, wearing a team jersey and shorts, played a very capable first base for eight innings and went 2 for 3 at the plate, scoring two runs.

Kerry, who arrived in a shirt and tie, had one at-bat and grounded out to third.
But before he batted, the senator took off his tie — to whooping cheers from his staffers. 

When it was Brown’s turn to bat, however, Brown asked to wear Kerry’s tie at the plate. Kerry was happy to oblige and Brown batted in “business attire.”

In a twist of fate, Brown was tagged out once, at first base by Kerry intern Jack Schlossberg, son of Caroline Kennedy and the great-nephew of Brown’s predecessor, the late Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.).

Meanwhile, up in Boston, the senators’ home state staffs also played, and again, Brown’s team won 12-9.

But fear not, Kerry fans, there’s an opportunity for redemption in just a few weeks. 

Kerry and Brown will both race in the annual PanMass Challenge, a 110-mile bike race on Aug. 1-2.
And while this will be Kerry’s seventh time racing in the event, this year the cause is even more personal. As he reminded supporters in an e-mail on Wednesday, Kerry’s wife, Teresa Heinz Kerry, is battling breast cancer. 

The senator also lost his dear friend, the late Sen. Kennedy, to brain cancer last summer.
Fitting, then, that Brown, Kennedy’s replacement, will pedal the 110-mile course, which benefits the Jimmy Fund.

Since joining the Senate in January, Brown has participated in basketball games, softball tournaments and charity running races, so he’s likely to be in good shape for the bike challenge.
As for Kerry, he promises, “I’ll give every ounce of energy I have on that 110-mile ride.”