California Reps. Linda Sánchez (D) and Nanette Barragán (D) will hit the field with 70 of their male colleagues at Nationals Park on Wednesday for the annual Congressional Baseball Game — an event that comes on the heels of Title IX’s 47th anniversary.
Sánchez was the only woman on the Democratic lineup for 13 years until she recruited fellow Californian Barragán to run for Congress, Roll Call reported.
“I didn’t know how good [Barragán] was until she got elected to Congress and came out for the team,” Sánchez told the outlet.
Sánchez will wear a jersey with the number “IX” on the back for the federal law that provides prevents discrimination in academics and athletics regardless of sex or gender.
According to Roll Call, the D.C. Girls Baseball team — the only girls’ baseball program in the region — will be cheering on the congresswomen from the stands.
“I hope it just sends the message that what they’re doing is the right thing, and they, too, can play on a major league baseball field,” said Barragán, who also plays in the Congressional Women’s Softball Game.
Women first played in the Congressional Baseball Game in 1993 when former Reps. (R-Fla.), (D-Wash.) and Blanche Lambert (D-Ark.) took to the field. Cantwell, now a senator, no longer plays and Ros-Lehtinen and Lambert are no longer in Congress.
“We gotta run for Congress first to make that happen,” Barragán said when asked what it would take for more women to play in the annual game.
Despite the low number of women players on the field, Barragán and Sánchez said they felt welcomed by their male teammates.
“They treat us like equals. They make us work just as hard,” Barragán said.