Sat, Jun 17, 2017 - Page 7 News List

Democrats beat Republicans in annual game


Democratic Representative Raul Ruiz, left, tags out Republican Representative Mike Bishop on the steal attempt with Democratic Representative Tim Ryan during the Congressional Baseball Game on Thursday in Washington.

Photo: AP

US Republicans and Democrats on Thursday joined in a spirited, friendly rivalry at their annual Congressional Baseball Game, many fresh from the penetrating horror of the ballfield shooting rampage a day earlier and all playing in honor of their grievously wounded colleague.

The game at Nationals Park in Washington carried on a century-old bipartisan ritual, this one tinged with worry about US House of Representatives majority whip Steve Scalise and the players’ determination to answer the attack by coming together in sport.

Democrats won in an 11-2 blowout.

In a final flourish of bipartisan camaraderie for the night, Democratic Representative Mike Doyle, his team’s manager, accepted the trophy, then gave it to his Republican counterpart, Joe Barton, to put in Scalise’s office on behalf of the Democrats.

After accepting it gracefully, Barton cracked: “Next year we won’t be so nice.”

A huge ovation came from the crowd, which swelled to a record 24,959, when Special Agent David Bailey, one of the Capitol Police officers injured in the attack on Republicans at their ball practice in Virginia, threw out the first pitch.

“ONE FAMILY,” a sign in the crowd showed.

The announcer’s mention of Scalise, who was critically wounded in the attack Wednesday, brought the masses to their feet.

Scalise remained listed in critical condition on Thursday night after multiple surgeries, though word came from the hospital during the game that he had improved.

“By playing tonight we are showing the world that we will not be intimidated by threats, acts of violence or assaults on our democracy,” US President Donald Trump said, appearing on the park’s giant screen, but not attending. “The game will go on.”

When the president intoned three words he said have brought Americans together for generations — “Let’s play ball” — cheers rang out.

However, despite the unifying nature of the event, there were boos for the president, too, from the section for Democratic fans on the third base side.

Before the event, House of Representatives Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi told reporters: “Tonight we will go to the game, play our hardest, but we will all be Team Scalise.”

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