Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 14, 2016

New York Times Journalist Played Softball Game on Torn Hamstring

Jill-y, don’t be a hero.

Jill Agostino, the short fielder for the Bad News Babes softball team, injured her leg four days before the annual Congressional Women’s Softball Game in late June but played in the game anyway. HOH has learned that the injury was far more extensive than initially thought — a torn hamstring — and Agostino is prepping for outpatient surgery.

Jill Agostino, seen her reaching for a fly ball at the June softball game, played with a torn hamstring. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo.)

Agostino, reaching for a fly ball during the June softball game, played with a torn hamstring. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Whether Agostino, an editor for The New York Times’ Washington bureau, would play was a source of anxiety for team leadership ahead of the game. Her captains repeatedly encouraged her to play only if the injury was not serious and to “not be a hero.”

But she was a hero anyway and was crucial to the Bad News Babes’ win this year.

She will be on crutches for about six weeks, per Gray Lady sources.

The yearly grudge match between female reporters and members of Congress benefits the Young Survival Coalition, a charity that supports young women diagnosed with breast cancer.

Agostino made quite a splash in her 2012 rookie season. Not only did she earn a spot as lead-off hitter in the Bad News Babes lineup, but she was also one of a pair of reporters caught spying on a member practice in May.

Agostino is expected to make a full recovery for next year’s game.

As much fun as it is, the game is a continual source of injury. Here is a rundown of some others in recent history:

  • Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., broke her ankle in the game’s inaugural 2009 season. 
  • Rep. Donna Edwards, D-Md., had at least two collisions during her team’s practices this year. CBS affiliate WUSA caught one of the hits on tape and had great fun with it in a profile piece.
  • Rep. Susan A. Davis, D-Calif., severely injured her hand during batting practice and was out for the season.

Ladies. Seriously:

Disclosure: The author of this post is a co-captain of the Bad News Babes, the press team.

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  • AO Gostin

    It was a dark and stormy night before the game. My wife and I went out to buy supplies — ice wraps, heat wraps, gauze, steroids, Vicoden, fluffy pillows; you name it, we bought it. Coming back up the elevator to her apartment, Jill finally broke down and cried, admitting, finally, that besides the debilitating pain in her thigh that her shoulders were hurting, too. “You’ve got to suck it up,” I said. “Think of the team. Today is not a day to be selfish.” When we got to her door, she had trouble fishing around for the keys, showing a display of discomfort I had never seen. After we got inside, I tried to be benevolent, sautéed with a twist of hard truth. “You can put the bags down anywhere,” I said. I think she got the message.

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