MATTHEW STITT CAN take apart a proposed bill and tell you if it's financially feasible, or translate the mayor's $3.75 billion budget into less-wonky language.
But Stitt, the 25-year-old assistant chief financial officer for City Council, doesn't have to crunch numbers to see that his brother Edwin, 12, and the Chestnut Hill Youth Sports Club travel baseball team are kicking butt out there.
And it's only the third inning.
"He's pretty good. Faster than I was at his age. Strong arm," Stitt says Sunday, breaking down his bro's game like a scout.
Their mother, Mary Stitt, chief of staff for city Managing Director Richard Negrin, reveals that Matt is selling himself short.
"Matt was unbelievable as a pitcher," she says. "People used to come to see him. 'He throws fire,' that's what they said."
Edwin Stitt, who steals bases like a young Rickey Henderson, is on the mound now, slinging sidearm pitches. A hitter connects, sending the ball straight back to him on one bounce, but Stitt spears it and throws the boy out.
"Good job!" says Mom.
Sporting a 76ers hat in the light drizzle, Matt Stitt admits that a certain level of background stress drifts into his weekends these days. After all, it's the middle of budget season.
"I try to relax," he says. "It's the one true day to relax."
Stitt, who lives in East Mount Airy, has a master's in public administration from Penn's Fels Institute of Government, but he says majoring in anthropology at Haverford College has been equally helpful in navigating City Hall.
"It teaches you to put yourself in the other person's shoes. Where are they coming from? What is their goal?" he says. "It's the first thing I think of."
Mary Stitt, of course, is proud.
"You need good-hearted, honest, smart people in government, and you find that in Matt," she says. "He can go from the 'hood to the boardroom and feel comfortable. I hope government doesn't make him a cynic."
- William Bender