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The 'Home' Team?

Matthew and Andrew Fenty, here watching TV at home in 2006. (Jahi Chikwendiu/The Washington Post)

Baseball fans at the Harford County Summer Classic last weekend were a little surprised to find one player's name on the Bethesda-Chevy Chase team roster: Andrew Fenty.

Yup -- the 9-year-old son of D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty and his wife, Michelle. The question buzzing around the field: Why was the mayor's son playing for a Maryland team? Why not one from the District?

The short answer: Like their dad, Andrew and twin brother Matthew are jocks who want to play serious baseball this summer -- something, it turns out, that is hard to do in D.C.

Despite the best efforts of their parents, the boys occasionally become players in the grown-ups' game. This winter, a District employee said he was fired after accusing the twins of playing in the wrong (i.e. easier) youth basketball league -- and now, the Fentys have passed over D.C. baseball for more competitive suburban teams.

"Little League in the District is really a different world," explained Paris Inman, administrator for D.C. Little League. He said he's trying to rebuild the local program but is hampered by limited resources and parents who steer their kids to football and basketball instead. There are also strict rules about geographical boundaries, which makes it harder to build strong rosters. "Little League says you have to play where you live," Inman said.

The Fenty boys played for a D.C. team this spring, but gravitated (along with other players from their Northwest neighborhood) to B-CC baseball this summer -- with better fields, facilities and equipment. The independent league has no residential restrictions: Kids from D.C., Virginia and Maryland all play side by side, mostly on Montgomery County fields; Andrew is part of the travel team, which boasts the best players.

The mayor's office declined to comment on the boys.

By The Reliable Source  |  July 2, 2009; 1:04 AM ET
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Ah, Fenty just wants to make sure his 9 year olds are playing with 8 year olds rather than 10 year olds. In DC, he had to cheat to pull that off. In Bethesda, that's the way the league is structured. Fenty's kid isn't in a more competitive league by virtue of being in Bethesda -- Dad's just found him a league where he's older rather than younger than many of the other kids.

Posted by: Cassie2 | July 7, 2009 9:15 PM | Report abuse

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