Washington tunes in for Congressional Baseball Game

Henrietta Brewer
June 16, 2017

Vice President Mike Pence said he visited on Thursday morning the Washington hospital where Steve Scalise, the No. 3 Republican in the U.S. House of Representatives, was being treated for injuries to internal organs, broken bones and severe bleeding after being shot in the left hip.

Before the event, House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi said: "Tonight we will go to the game, play our hardest, but we will all be Team Scalise".

"It's been much more hard than people even thought at the time", Trump said of the treatment of Scalise, the No. 3 GOP leader, who is in critical condition and underwent a third surgery at the MedStar Washington Hospital Center. More than $1 million has been raised this year for Congressional Sports for Charity.

Unable to sleep on Wednesday night, Congressman Roger Williams, who was also injured running for cover during the attack, said he found solace watching baseball on the MLB channel. For the game, which began in 1909, members of the Senate and House of Representatives donned uniforms representing teams from their constituencies, and many topped them with hats from Louisiana State University, Scalise's alma mater, as a tribute.

The Congressional Baseball Game Facebook page will also carry a live stream of the game and it will be broadcast on C-SPAN, a spokeswoman for the Congressional Baseball Game said.

Trump, who visited Scalise at the MedStar Washington Hospital Center on Wednesday evening, expressed optimism that Scalise would eventually recover.

Lobbyist Matt Mika was shot multiple times and critically injured and remained hospitalised.

The Democrats beat the Republicans 11-2 in the friendly, but competitive, game.

The congressional baseball game will go on as scheduled. "That's the source of unity, and more than ever, we must embrace it, so that on this special night, I leave you with three great American words, that for generations have torn down barriers, built bridges of unity, and defied those who have sought to pull us apart, ladies and gentlemen, let's play ball".

Played nearly every year since 1909, this year's congressional contest began with a moving tribute to the victims of the shooting, as well as the Capitol Police officers who helped take out the gunman.

Louisiana Rep. Cedric Richmond is the Democrats' star pitcher, and a close friend of Scalise's. She said she hasn't been with her husband since March, when he moved to the Washington D.C. area. One person who won't be among them: President Trump.

Scalise's office had initially stated Wednesday that the Congressman was in stable condition, stating prior to his first surgery that "the Whip was in good spirits and spoke to his wife by phone".

She said Republican vitriol and caricatures of her have resulted in "calls to my home constantly, threats in front of my family, really predicated on their comments and their paid ads".

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