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Democrats beat Republicans on ballfield, raise $1M for charity

By
Ed Adamczyk
Democratic lawmakers celebrate their win over the Republicans 11-2 in their Congressional baseball game at Nationals Park in Washington on Thursday. The annual game took on added significance after Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., was shot and critically wounded as he practiced Wednesday for the game. Photo by Molly Riley/UPI
Democratic lawmakers celebrate their win over the Republicans 11-2 in their Congressional baseball game at Nationals Park in Washington on Thursday. The annual game took on added significance after Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., was shot and critically wounded as he practiced Wednesday for the game. Photo by Molly Riley/UPI | License Photo

June 16 (UPI) -- Congressional Democrats beat their Republican counterparts in Washington's annual charity baseball game, an event marked by the shooting of Rep. Steve Scalise during practice days before.

The House majority whip from Louisiana sustained a gunshot wound Wednesday while practicing for the Congressional baseball game. Three others were injured by the gunfire from suspected shooter James Hodgkinson, who was killed by police.

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The game Thursday, a Washington tradition since 1909 in which Republicans and play Democrats, went on Thursday evening at Nationals Stadium, home of the city's major league baseball team.

The Democrats won the annual game 11-2 with a record 24,959 tickets to the game sold. The event raised more than than $1 million for local charities, double what it did the year before, spokeswoman Meredith Raimondi said.

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Both sides depicted the event as a unifying experience. Members of a contentious and polarized Congress used the backdrop of baseball to demonstrate that Americans are more united than divided on issues. Many players, although wearing uniforms of various professional and college baseball teams within their states and districts, wore the purple caps of Louisiana State University in Scalise's honor.

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Police special agent David Bailey, injured in the shooting Wednesday in an Alexandria, Va., park, threw out the ceremonial first ball after it was presented to him by Joe Torre, former manager of the New York Yankees. President Donald Trump sent a message of encouragement, which was shown on the stadium scoreboard prior to the game. Each side knelt on the field before the game began. Democrats sent the trophy they earned to Scalise's office after the game.

As the game progressed, MedStar Washington Hospital Center released an update on Scalise's condition. The first said that he "remains in critical condition, but has improved in the last 24 hours."

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"The congressman will require additional operations, and will be in the hospital for some time."

On Wednesday, the hospital said "sustained a single rifle shot to the left hip. The bullet traveled across his pelvis, fracturing bones, injuring internal organs, and causing severe bleeding. He was transported in shock to MedStar Washington Hospital Center, a Level I Trauma Center. He underwent immediate surgery, and an additional procedure to stop bleeding. He has received multiple units of blood transfusion."

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