Tonight, the Democrats won the Congressional Baseball Game 11-2, beating the Republicans in an annual tradition that has taken on new meaning over the past few days.
Yesterday, during practice for tonight’s game, a gunman opened fire on lawmakers and aides at a practice facility in Alexandria Virginia, critically injuring four people, including Republican House majority whip Steve Scalise. At a time when partisan tensions are high and faith in the government is low, the congressional baseball game for charity served as a moment to showcase bipartisanship and cooperation between these warring factions.
That spirit of bipartisanship was brought forth in a new light after the events of Wednesday. Both teams gathered at second base, the position Scalise was playing when the shooting began, to pray. The first pitch was thrown out by Capitol Police special agent David Bailey who walked out on crutches to throw the first pitch to a standing ovation. The crowd, a record 25,000 in attendance at Nationals Park, applauded when it was announced that Scalise’s condition had improved after multiple surgeries. Congressmen literally embraced in hugs at the bases.
An emotional moment at Nationals Park.
Wounded Capitol Police hero David Bailey throws out first pitch at Congressional Baseball Game. pic.twitter.com/9WlkntmrKb
— CSN Mid-Atlantic (@CSNMA) June 16, 2017
For all of its touching moments, the Congressional Baseball Game encompassed all that we love about sports. Even before the tragic events of Wednesday, the game signified uniting two sides that rarely see eye to eye. But after the shootings, the game also represented the perseverance and importance sports hold. The game has been held since 1909 with few interruptions, and while this shooting looked to be possibly one of the major exceptions, the teams played on, using it as a platform to show the world we won’t relent to random acts of violence and terror. For nine brief innings, congressmen and congresswomen came together to do just that, simply by tossing a ball around the diamond.