Washington (CNN) - You can tell baseball season is just around the corner: Just listen to the House of Representatives debate education reform. During Wednesday's debate over restarting a school voucher program for District of Columbia residents, lawmakers quoted from the noted educators Leo Durocher, Yogi Berra, Satchel Paige (Twice!) and Casey Stengel.
The baseball greats were on the minds of members from both sides of the aisle.
Republican Representative Rob Bishop of Utah led off: "Durocher always said for his team, that, 'I make a great effort to argue for the issues but there are two things against me: The Umpires and the Rules.'" Bishop explained his analogy by saying opponents of vouchers have two things against them: The unique Constitutional relationship between the Congress and the District of Columbia and the "underprivileged kids" who will benefit from the bill.
Florida Democratic Congressman Alcee Hastings noted a previous Democratic Congress had allowed a DC voucher program to expire and dismissed the effort to revive it as a "shallow attempt" to "appease the right wing of the Republican party." "My colleague used Leo Durocher. He played with and against Yogi Berra," Hastings continued. "Yogi Berra reminds me, if I were to use an analogy, this is 'Déjà vu all over again.'"
In his next at-bat in the debate, Bishop said, "Since, Mister Hastings also used a baseball reference to tie me, I have to one up him one more time. In the words of the great Satchel Paige, who was consulting a struggling pitcher who was failing to get it over on the corners, he just said, 'Throw the pitch. Just throw strikes. Home plate don't move.'" Bishop explained the voucher program is "one of those strikes."
Hastings tossed it right back at Bishop: "Satchel Paige also said, 'Don't look back.'"
Later in the debate, Bishop tossed-out another baseball analogy. "Casey Stengel, at one time, –talking about, I think, one of the best second basemen ever, Bobby Richardson- said 'I just can't understand it. He doesn't smoke, he doesn't drink, he doesn't stay out at night and he still can't hit .250." Admitting it was a non-sequitur, Bishop then complained he couldn't understand why anyone would oppose the voucher bill because it, "only expands choices for DC's least-financially-blessed school kids."
DC Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton took the floor to complain about the use of "public money for private schools" and, her voice raised, condemned the Republican proposal: "Self government means nothing if the District of Columbia can still be a dumping ground for every pet project and pet idea of the majority. We have our own pet ideas and will insist on the respect for our own pet ideas and not yours!"
She struck out.
The voucher bill passed 225- 195.