BOULDER, Colo. — In case you didn’t know, Colorado’s governor is a baseball fan.
He campaigned for governor with a baseball-themed ad. He makes frequent use of baseball analogies in his news conferences. He bragged about holding the all-time RBI record for the Congressional baseball team when announcing the MLB All-Star Game was coming to Denver.
So Denver7’s Jason Gruenauer recently met with Jared Polis at a batting cage in Boulder to talk, and play, baseball.
The conversation started with the early years of how Polis started with baseball.
“I played and, actually, my mom was my coach when I was like 5 and 6,” he said. “I played tee ball, I played all the way growing up, played in high school as well.”
He also shared an interesting nickname he was given at an early age.
“One was ‘Ducky’ because I ducked when I ran,” he said.
The governor had no problem stepping into the ‘fast speed’ cage, where he estimated pitches were coming at 60 miles per hour, and hitting more than a dozen in a row.
“You see? Contact hitter, right?” he said.
Polis happily chatted about his time in Congress, when he played on the Congressional baseball team.
“It’s one of the best parts of serving in Congress,” he said.
Polis played in nine games in the annual game that pitted Democrats against Republicans.
“They had me batting 4th or 5th most years. (I) was one of the best hitters on the team, all time RBI leader, other folks got on base, I got them home,” he said.
The statistics are there. In nine games played, Polis totaled ten hits, a .400 batting average, and 14 total RBI. Check out the above video for some clips of Polis in action, courtesy of C-SPAN.
But Polis isn’t just a hitter. He’s thrown out first pitches for the Washington Nationals while in Congress and for the Rockies as governor.
“I threw strikes,” he said confidently.
Another pitch the governor put out there was to Major League Baseball, after the league announced they’d be moving the All-Star Game out of Georgia.
“Talked to the Commissioner (of Major League Baseball) twice, (Rockies Owner) Dick Monfort several times, Mayor Hancock. And really, it was a matter of being ready. I don’t know if there were other cities ready with a quality all-star experience to move as quickly as a city or a state,” Polis said.
He did have one regret about the All-Star Game coming into town though.
“I was hoping they’d invite me to play but I didn’t make the ballot,” he joked.
Polis said he plans to be in the stands for the game with his family. He wrapped up his hitting at the cages and moved on to his next meeting in a packed daily schedule.