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Poloncarz takes break from convention to pitch with the Phillies

Democrats in the U.S. Senate and House Commerce and Energy Committees hosted an "All Star Challenge event" Tuesday that gave certain delegate VIPs and donors the opportunity to practice their hitting and pitching skills on the Phillies' home turf at Citizen's Bank Park.

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz, who aside from being hockey coach is also a baseball nut, couldn't resist the opportunity. He tried to convince Erie County Democratic Chairman Jeremy Zellner to join him on the field, but Zellner told him he had to pick up his wife at the airport and couldn't go.

"I told him afterward, 'You should have ditched your wife. It was awesome,' " Poloncarz said.

The county executive got to hit six pitches at the plate, then headed into the Phillies' underground training complex to try his hand at pitching with Phillies staffer and former pitcher Dickie Noles. When Noles learned Poloncarz was from Buffalo, Noles happily started reminiscing about his time coaching the Single-A Batavia Muckdogs. Then he gave Poloncarz some pointers on throwing a slider.

Of course, there's a reason why Poloncarz doesn't do this kind of thing every day.

"My average of about 57 miles per hour will not cut it in the major leagues," he said.


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