Thursday night’s Congressional Baseball Game took on added meaning and importance after the shooting at the Republican practice on Wednesday, which left Louisiana Representative Steve Scalise seriously wounded.
The Democrats would go on to win the game, convincingly, by a final 11-2. Though, the postgame scene became one of unity and camaraderie as the Democrats presented the trophy to Scalise, who is still in critical condition after the attack. Representative Joe Barton of Texas accepted the trophy on Scalise’s behalf.
According to ESPN:
A huge ovation came from the crowd, which swelled to a record 24,959, when Special Agent David Bailey, one of the Capitol Police officers injured in the attack on Republicans at their ball practice in Virginia, threw out the first pitch. “ONE FAMILY,” proclaimed a sign in the crowd. The announcer’s mention of Scalise, the House majority whip who was critically wounded in the attack Wednesday, brought the masses to their feet.
The highlight of the evening featured President Donald Trump delivering a video message to the assembled crowd. The commander-in-chief said, “By playing tonight we are showing the world that we will not be intimidated by threats, acts of violence or assaults on our democracy. The game will go on.”
ESPN reported, “When the president intoned three words he said have brought Americans together for generations—”Let’s play ball”—cheers rang out.”
While the game provides some relief and bipartisanship in a town dominated by faction and division, the other more important aspect of the game has to do with how it benefits various charities.
This year, the charities are the “Boys & Girls Club of Greater Washington, Washington Literacy Center, the Washington Nationals Dream Foundation and, after Wednesday’s shooting, the Capitol Police Memorial Fund.”
After Thursday’s result, the all-time record in the game is 39 wins each, for both Democrats and Republicans, with one tie.
Follow Dylan Gwinn on Twitter: @themightygwinn