Government & Politics

Congressional baseball game one of the ‘few remaining bipartisan acts of collegiality’

A brief history of the Congressional Baseball Game

A look at the sporting event that’s been bringing members of Congress from both sides of the aisle together on the baseball field since 1909.
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A look at the sporting event that’s been bringing members of Congress from both sides of the aisle together on the baseball field since 1909.

During a practice for the Congressional Baseball Game, an event more than 100 years old, a gunman opened fire, injuring House Majority Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana and two Capitol police officers, according to reports.

There has been an outpouring of support and condolences on social media. Some referenced the baseball game for which the lawmakers were preparing. The game is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. Thursday at Nationals Park.

The game was first played between Democrats and Republicans in 1909 and has been played in most years since. Democrats and Republicans are tied in terms of wins over the years, each winning 39 times and tying once.

The popularity of the game contributed to its evolution as a fundraising event for D.C. area charities, according to the congressional baseball website. Recipients of funds include the Washington Literacy Center, the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Washington and the Washington Nationals Dream Foundation.

“The Congressional Baseball Game has been the only annual partisan showdown beloved by all and enjoyed by thousands,” the site says.

Shortly after the shooting, some people on social media expressed hope the game would still be played.

A few hours later, a California lawmaker wrote that the game would not be canceled.

In a statement, the Congressional Sports Charity said, “We are thankful as always for the men and women who run towards danger especially the Capitol Police and Alexandria City Police. Without their presence (Wednesday morning), it could have been even worse.”

Max Londberg: 816-234-4378, @MaxLondberg

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