Published: Sat, June 17, 2017
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

Play Ball! GOP, Dems To Battle As 1 _ Team Scalise

Play Ball! GOP, Dems To Battle As 1 _ Team Scalise

Scalise was among five people wounded when a shooter sprayed rifle fire at congressional Republicans practicing on a diamond in suburban Alexandria, Va.

Shimkus "is expecting it to be more subdued, without some of the chiding and trash talking that went on - in good fun - in these games in previous years", Haverly said. Lawmakers, including many of those who were at the practice, praised the decision. "We need to pull together and show we've got grit". His House colleagues paid tribute to him at their annual charity baseball game, while law enforcement tracked the path the shooter traveled to his ballfield carnage.

And while rattled lawmakers and staffers on Capitol Hill instinctively drew together after the shooting, sitting together at the game, that doesn't mean their constituents and attack dogs in warring partisan media establishments will heed a moment of Beltway togetherness. Going ahead with both the men's and women's games "shows we have tremendous resolve in this country, and that when somebody's trying to perpetuate violence and do disgusting things, we're going to rise above it and we're going to go on with the game", said Rep. Cheri Bustos, a Democrat from Moline.

Several spectators walked politics-related attire supporting particular candidates.

Notably, Trump is absent from the game. Press secretary Sean Spicer said "there is not enough time to follow Secret Service protocols" to ensure Trump's safety, but the president visited Scalise in the hospital on Wednesday.

A congressional aide, Zach Barth, has also been released, but lobbyist Matt Mika was shot multiple times and remains in critical condition, as does Scalise, who has undergone multiple surgeries for damage caused by a shot to the hip.

Lawmakers noted their good fortune in having armed protectors on hand - "Thank God", they exclaimed over and over - and said otherwise the shooter would have been able to take a huge deadly toll.

"We're going to go to the game today, we're going to play our hardest to win, each team will".

Before the game, the House minority whip, Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-Md., wore a shirt that read "Team Scalise".

"I've played in every game except the year I had my son", she said.

On the Democratic side, players include Reps.

"I'll miss the banter with him back and forth", Richmond said of the heckling they usually exchange from opposing dugouts.

Surrounded by aids and staffers in the Republican "red" fan zone, Georgia Representative Doug Collins said the turnout bore a strong message: "That this country is bigger than one insane fool".

The game is underway at Nationals Stadium on what seemed to be a warm but breezy day, where the crowd gave a standing ovation for Rep. Steve Scalise.

"I do want to put some of this at the feet of Barack Obama", the Iowa congressman said in an interview with Simon Conway on WHO Iowa radio. "It just shows how resilient these politicians are".

Republicans and Democrats are fighting for bragging rights in their annual Congressional Baseball game, and doing so as one unit - Team Scalise.

Capitol Police Special Agent David Bailey, who was wounded when he and another officer engaged in a shootout with the gunman, hobbled onto the field on crutches to throw out the first pitch.

New York Republican Rep. Claudia Tenney told CNN that she has had numerous phone and email messages warning that people wanted to harm not only her, but her son, who serves in the military in Iraq.

"The competition is still there, but the energy around the game has just exploded", said Walker.

President Donald Trump delivered a message via video before the game.

Although the weather in Washington looks headed toward a near-flawless summer night, an obvious and immovable shadow is being cast over Thursday night's Congressional Baseball Game - a tradition that began more than a century ago.

More than 20,000 tickets have been sold and more than $1 million raised for charities, including the Capitol Police Memorial Fund, which was added as a beneficiary after the shooting.

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