NPR logo Yankees On The Ballot

Yankees On The Ballot

Bobby Richardson failed to win a S.C. congressional seat in 1976, even though when I was a kid he was my favorite Yankee. hide caption

toggle caption

Did I ever tell you I'm a life-long New York Yankees fan, and that round two of the American League playoffs start tonight?

OK, enough about me. But Joel Shapiro of Bound Brook, N.J., has this Yankee-related question:

Other than Jim "Bulldog" Bouton (1972 NJ Democratic primary), have any former Yankees been on any election ballots?

I had forgotten that Bouton, the former pitcher-turned-"traitor" (for his Ball Four expose of Yankee-dom), was a delegate for George McGovern at the 1972 Democratic convention.

But Bobby Richardson, the steady second-baseman (and my favorite player when I was a kid — he wore #1), was the Republican nominee for Congress in South Carolina's 5th District in 1976. A born-again Christian, Richardson gave incumbent Democrat Ken Holland a tough battle but ultimately lost by about 4,000 votes (51-48%). It was the closest race ever for Holland, and Richardson was seen as a good candidate. But Jimmy Carter won South Carolina in a landslide that year, which helped Holland.