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POLITICS

Brady Center tries changing John Paul Stevens' allegiance -- in baseball

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Yeas and Nays,Politics,Nikki Schwab

The folks at the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence know they have a friend in former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens. Stevens was a dissenting voice in 2008 when, in District of Columbia v. Heller, the Supreme Court ruled that the District's handgun ban violated the Second Amendment.

When it comes to baseball, however, that's a different story. At a Monday luncheon, the 92-year-old Chicago Cubs fan, who was on hand during the 1932 World Series when the Yankees beat the Cubs (more about that later), was wooed to switch teams.

"I was told that there was a movement in your family to convert you from a Cubs fan to a Nationals fan," said the Brady Center's Jon Lowy, before presenting the retired Supreme with a personalized "Stevens" Nationals jersey. "We were hoping you would be able to wear this to Nationals games in the coming weeks, but sadly, you are going to have to wait until April," Lowy said, referring to Friday night's season-ending loss to the St. Louis Cardinals. Lowy also gave Stevens a baseball signed by Jim and Sarah Brady to show their appreciation to the justice for coming to speak before the group.

During the event, Stevens was asked if baseball legend Babe Ruth really called his home run during that World Series. Stevens said he had told the tale at a judicial conference several years ago. Ruth, a Yankee, pointed to the center field bleachers and then hit the ball over those bleachers. "But after the session a young man ... came up to me and said he didn't want to embarrass me in the proceeding, but his grandfather had been at the same game sitting in the bleachers and one of his treasured possessions was the ball that Babe Ruth hit into the bleachers," Stevens explained. "So after that experience, I went back to the office and asked my law clerk to do some research and she came up with the correct answer: Babe Ruth hit two home runs that day, so we were both right," Stevens said to laughs.

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