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

Posted June 20, 2017

"It's a concern I've had for a number of years", he told The Hill following the shooting at a Republican congressional baseball practice that left Scalise in critical condition and injured a further five people.

"The bullet traveled across his pelvis, fracturing bones, injuring internal organs, and causing severe bleeding", according to a statement Scalise's office released by MedStar Washington Hospital Center.

Lawmakers gathered at Nationals Park to play their annual charity baseball game - a relatively low-profile event that was thrust into headlines Wednesday when a gunman opened fire at a Republican team practice. Republican John Shimkus is a roommate of Louisiana Representative Steve Scalise, who was shot during the incident.

The game is a long-standing summer tradition in Washington, with teams of Republican and Democratic lawmakers competing on the ball field, even in present times, when fractious political debates are the norm. The crowd chanted "USA!"

The first pitch was thrown by one of the two heroes of the shooting, member of the Capitol Police David Bailey, who along with colleague Crystal Griner are credited with taking down the gunman.

Organizers chose to go on with the game on Wednesday, hours after the shooting.

Capitol Police, who provided security for the practice, killed the shooter, identified by authorities as James Hodgkinson, 66, from Belleville, Ill.

"The Congressional Baseball Game has never been about Republicans against Democrats", said Rep. Pete Aguilar, D-C.A., in an opinion piece he wrote for CNN.

The Republican team's manager, Rep. Joe Barton, R-Tex., was looking forward to a spirited game Thursday, according to Roll Call, which also sponsors the game.

U.S. Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-La.), who visited Scalise in the hospital Thursday, said that on a recent foreign trip he and Scalise took, 90 percent of their conversations were about the game.

Mika, a MI native, was one of five people shot when a gunman opened fire Wednesday as the Republican team practiced in Alexandria, Virginia.

The Louisiana lawmaker, who is the No. 3 Republican in the House, remains in critical condition at MedStar Washington Hospital Center. We pray for all of the victims of this bad crime who are still recovering, including Zachary Barth and Matt Mika, both of whom are respected and cherished by so many.

The named congressmen are all conservative members of the House Freedom Caucus, and the list appears to confirm that the shooting was not random but a premeditated attempt to assassinate the politicians.

The congressional baseball match pits Republicans against Democrats.

"I had no idea this was going to happen, and I don't know what to say about it", she said with difficulty, through tears.

"We're all praying for him", House Speaker Paul Ryan said during the interview right before the game, adding that Scalise's wife "Jennifer and the kids are here".

Huffman, a lanky former All-American volleyball player at UC Santa Barbara and USA Volleyball Team member, is playing third base and batting second for the Democrats.

For the record, the series is tied at 39 wins for each party, plus a tie in 1983.