Congress Puts Differences Aside to Honor Victims of VA Shooting
After the horrifying events this week in Alexandria, VA, both Democrats and Republicans in Congress have joined together in camaraderie to play America’s favorite pastime: baseball.
The Democrats brought their A-game, ultimately beating the Republicans 11-2. But the score of the game was the least important factor by the end of the night.
Before beginning the game, the stadium felt silent for several moments out of respect to those injured in the shooting. House Majority Whip, Representative Steve Scalise (R-LA) remains in critical condition in a Washington D.C. area hospital after being shot in the hip.
After these respectful moments, a video from President Donald Trump projected onto the jumbrotron for fans. As a thoughtful and consistent reminder of his platform against foreign and domestic threats, Trump left words of encouragement for those attending the game.
“By playing tonight, you are showing the world that we will not be intimidated by threats, acts of violence, or assaults on our democracy,” Trump said. “The game will go on.”
Fans and supporters for both teams traveled to Nationals Stadium to cheer on their favorite senators and representatives.
With one section allocated to each party, and another allocated for general admission, the entire lower half of the stadium was filled. Following the shooting, there was a noticeable boost in ticket sales. The Washington Nationals opened more seating to accommodate for the increase in sales than in years past.
The event itself sold over 24,000 tickets, ultimately raising more than $1 million for charity. It raised $500,000 last year. All of the money raised was donated to the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Washington, the Nationals Dream Foundation and the Washington Literacy Center, the three charities that the Congressional Baseball Game supports.
Traditional fun ensued throughout the evening, from boisterous cheering for favored senators to a wacky race between George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt and Thomas Jefferson. Roosevelt took the lead and rushed through the red tape, leaving the other fellow presidents behind.
The crowd went wild when Rep. Nanette Diaz Barragan (CA) and Rep. Linda Sanchez (CA) were up to bat, representing the only two female players for either team. Barragan and Sanchez were players for the Democratic team.
By the end of the evening the Democrats took the victory. From 1909 when the Congressional baseball game initially began until now, both teams were at a deadlock, each 39-39-1. Last year the Republican team took the victory, ending a 7-year winning streak for the Democrats.
But the score, the records and the winner were far from the minds of the players at the end of the game. As a sign of respect and sportsmanship, the Democrats honored Congressman Scalise with the game trophy to display in his office throughout his recovery.
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