Who won the congressional baseball game ? The assailant, who had nursed grievances against President Donald Trump and the GOP, fought a gun battle with police before he, too, was shot and later died.
“If you look at what happened that day. The gunman shows up wanting to take out all of us on the ball field that morning – and everybody’s alive expect the shooter, God performed miracles that day,” Scalise said.
He said the shooting sharpened his focus on his family who was with him every step of the way during his over three-month recovery which required him to learn how to walk again.
Wednesday’s game will feature Democrats and Republicans from the House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate. Money raised from the game benefits local charities in the D.C. area. Scalise said he expects more than 20,000 fans to show up for the game and hopes to raise over $1 million that will benefit dozens of non-profits.
In a lopsided win, Republicans beat Democrats again — in charity baseball
The pitching was spotty, the base-running awkward and the pulled muscles plentiful Wednesday night as the Republicans took their third win in a row in Congress’s annual charity baseball game.
The GOP won 16-6 in the seven-inning game between Democratic and Republican members of Congress that raised about $1.8 million for 44 charities in the D.C. area. The charity game takes place in the Major League Baseball stadium where the Washington Nationals play.
U.S. House Majority Leader Steve Scalise, R-Jefferson, clad in an LSU Tigers baseball uniform for practice, said Wednesday before the game that he expected about 23,000 fans to show up. Stadium administrators announced that 26,663 tickets were sold. Nationals Park seats about 41,300 people.
For the game, the Republican team wore identical red uniforms with elephants on the breast, though Scalise, 57, kept his purple LSU cap. He played first base for a short time and was the lead-off batter for the GOP.
Scalise, who can’t run because of injuries suffered in 2017 during the mass shooting at a practice for that year’s Congressional game, had a designated runner, Rep. William Timmons, R-South Carolina. Scalise hit to the third baseman but Arizona Democratic Rep Greg Stanton’s throw was way off the bag and Timmons made first base easily.
Timmons quickly stole second and eventually scored the first run of the game in the bottom of the first inning. He later left the game with a pulled hamstring, one of many that afflicted players of both parties.
Rep. Greg Steube, R-Florida and a 45-year-old U.S. Army veteran, had pitched a tight game until the 5th inning, when he gave up back-to-back-to-back hits to the Democrats, who scored three runs. Steube was moved to third base and replaced on the mound by Texas Republican Rep. August Pfluger, a 44-year-old Air Force veteran and Eagle Scout who played high school football in San Angelo, Texas. He finished the game.
The contest was not your best baseball. Many of the players have military experience, but few played organized ball. The pitches were a little slow and only sometimes crossed the plate. Luckily for the pitchers, the home plate umpire had a very liberal strike zone. Fielding was clumsy and running was wonky with lots of flapping arms.
At Congressional Baseball Game, a Different Type of Victory on Display
They had cleared the field and cleaned out the bleachers at Nationals Park late Thursday night, and now they were turning out the lights. Representative Barry Loudermilk, a Republican from the 11th district of Georgia, lingered above the center field stands. He had just played a ballgame and lost by nine runs to the Democrats. He didn’t care.
“We love the game. We have a really good team,” he said. “And we’re just happy to be here.”
It was not a ballplayer cliché. Not this time, not for these people. The Republicans were missing their second baseman, Steve Scalise, the majority whip of the House of Representatives, who was wounded Wednesday morning when a gunman attacked their practice in Alexandria, Va. Loudermilk had just put on his batting helmet when the rampage began. He slept only three hours that night; about the same, he said, as many of his teammates. They were all exhausted.
“We won because we’re here,” Loudermilk said. “We’re not being visited at a wake somewhere. And that was the reality of what could have happened. Fortunately only the shooter is dead. None of our folks are. There were some miracles happening on that field.”
Three others were shot in the assault, and David Bailey of the Capitol Police force was injured. Bailey threw out the ceremonial first pitch at Thursday’s congressional baseball game, taking the ball from the Hall of Famer Joe Torre.
Steve Scalise returns to congressional baseball game in Washington
Republicans and Democrats came together Thursday night at Nationals Park to play ball and help raise funds for charity. The annual congressional baseball game in Washington kicked off with House Majority Whip Steve Scalise — who was shot during practice last year in Alexandria, Virginia — fielding a ground ball and throwing out the first batter of the game.
Ultimately, the Democrats defeated the Republicans, 21-5.
Moments after the play, teammates and colleagues swarmed the Louisiana congressman. Scalise was escorted earlier in the game to second base by two U.S. Capitol Police officers who were also wounded when responding to the shooting one year ago. The crowd gave Scalise a standing ovation when he left the field after the second batter.
Scalise suffered life-threatening injuries when a gunman opened fire June 14, 2017, striking four people. He spent the past year re-learning how to do everything from walking to playing ball. After the exhausting recovery, and just two months from his most recent surgery, the GOP’s star player is helping keep the more-than-100-year baseball tradition alive.
Scalise was walking with the help of one crutch prior to Thursday’s game, but took to the field without it.
“I can’t move the way I used to … It’s better than it was a few weeks ago, but, you know, if the ball’s a few feet away from me it’s not as easy to get to,” Scalise told “CBS This Morning” earlier Thursday.
“We’re all Americans, we all love the game of baseball. And we’re all out to have fun for one night,” said congressional aide Zack Barth, who was also shot in 2017.
Baseball is a big deal for the Louisiana lawmaker, who had been considered his team’s best player, and his recovery has been celebrated by both sides of the aisle. Democratic players set aside a century-old rivalry last week and welcomed Scalise to their practice, but the stepped-up police presence was hard to miss.
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