Curious about the novelty of a ballplayer doubling as a politico. I tried to contact Hughes at his off-season home in Mount Vernon. "Oh, Troy dropped out of the race," I was told by a relative of Hughes's. This seemed odd since it was only eight days after Hughes had placed his name on the ballot.
Having had no luck reaching Hughes himself. I turned to Ed Holtz, general manager of the Macon Braves. It occurred to me that Macon is 750 miles from the Illinois capital of Springfield, so I asked Holtz what would happen if Hughes were elected and there were an important legislative vote on the same day as a game? Would he excuse Hughes—a player who last season batted .300 with 80 RBIs? "No," Holtz said.
It seems that no such conflict will ever arise. When I finally reached Hughes, he said that he was withdrawing from the race. "I just couldn't do it," he said. "If I play as well as I did last season, I may have a shot at the big leagues, so I want to focus."
If Hughes ever does seriously consider a political career, he already has the vernacular down. When I asked him what pushed him to run this year, if only for two weeks, he said, "I don't want to comment on that just now. I might soon, though I can't give a definite date when."
—LISA TWYMAN BESSONE