Barring some kind of scandal, incumbent members of Congress enjoy a lot of built-in advantages when they seek re-election.
They usually have higher name recognition than their challengers, and they almost always have more money. They can brag about bringing home the bacon to their district, though they never call it pork. They can send mailings on the taxpayers' dime that look suspiciously like campaign fliers.
Here's another perk: they can jump on a feel-good bandwagon by sponsoring a resolution lauding a local luminary. So today, Reps. Jerry McNerney and Pete Stark, both California Democrats, introduced one to honor Oakland A's pitcher Dallas Braden, who on Sunday Day pitched the 19th perfect game in Major League Baseball history. It was an accomplishment made more poignant by the fact that it came on Mother's Day, and Braden's mother died of cancer while he was at Stagg High School in Stockton.
"This is a tremendous opportunity to honor Stockton resident and Oakland A's pitcher Dallas Braden," McNerney said in a statement. "Everyone from Stockton can be proud that one of our own made history this past weekend....This is a special reminder of what all young people from Stockton can achieve."
The resolution, in all its congressional-ese glory, is below:
Congratulating Dallas Braden and the Oakland Athletics baseball team for pitching a perfect game against the Tampa Bay Rays on Mother's Day, May 9, 2010.
Whereas, on May 9, 2010, Oakland Athletics pitcher Dallas Braden pitched a no-hitter without allowing any base runners;
Whereas the Oakland Athletics defeated the Tampa Bay Rays in the Oakland Coliseum in Oakland, California by a score of 4-0;
Whereas Dallas Braden threw 109 pitches with no walks and six strikeouts;
Whereas players Cliff Pennington and Kevin Kouzmanoff scored one run each, and Daric Barton scored two;
Whereas Dallas Braden was raised in Stockton, California and played high school baseball at Stagg High School in Stockton, California, and played collegiate baseball for American River College and the Texas Tech Red Raiders before being drafted by the Oakland Athletics in 2004 and making his major league debut with the team in 2007;
Whereas Dallas Braden's mother, Jodie Atwood, tragically died of cancer when he was in high school, Braden celebrated Mother's Day with his grandmother, Peggy Lindsey, with a hug on the field after his perfect game when he presented her with the game ball;
Whereas the accomplishment was the result of the hard work of every player and coach on the Oakland Athletics baseball team, including Dallas Braden, Cliff Pennington, Daric Barton, Ryan Sweeney, Kevin Kouzmanoff, Eric Chavez, Adam Rosales, Eric Patterson, Landon Powell, Rajai Davis, and Manager Bob Geren;
Whereas this marks the nineteenth perfect game in Major League Baseball history;
Whereas Hall of Famer James "Catfish" Hunter pitched the only other perfect game in Oakland Athletics history against the Minnesota Twins on May 8, 1968;
Whereas the team has played at their current home in Oakland since 1968, winning 4 World Series, 6 American League pennants, and 14 West Division titles: Now, therefore, be it
Resolved, That the House of Representatives--
(1) congratulates Dallas Braden of the Oakland Athletics for pitching a perfect game on Mother's Day, May 9, 2010;
(2) recognizes the achievements of the players, coaches and staff of the Oakland Athletics whose hard work helped Dallas Braden to complete the perfect game; and
(3) recognizes the loyalty of Athletics baseball fans in the East Bay and around the United States.