It was exactly one year ago that Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) was rushed away from a baseball field near Washington with his life hanging in the balance. After being shot along with four others at a team practice by a deranged leftist and suffering injuries that left him teetering on the verge of death. After a grueling rehabilitation, the House Majority Whip made a triumphant return to the ball field Wednesday, June 14. Scalise attended a team practice and was then named a starter for the annual congressional baseball game Wednesday evening at Nationals Park in D.C.
After enduring nine surgeries and intensive physical therapy, the Republican congressman was greeted by a standing ovation as he was introduced and assumed his position as starting second baseman. Incredibly, the first pitch of the game was hit directly to him, and he handled it without issue. Wearing the cap of the Capitol Police who helped save his life, Scalise moved about gingerly and had difficulty bending over, but the mere fact he could play at all is the real story.
In a game which has no ultimate meaning, but which both sides take seriously, Democrats won a laugher: 21-5. It was the 84th renewal of hostilities in a tradition dating back to 1909. The GOP now leads the series 42-41 with one tie. Proceeds from the games are donated to a trio of D.C. area charities.
The return of the Louisiana congressman added to the festive atmosphere for the usual pleasant and jocular affair, after which the two sides shook hands as they always do. But given the contentious times in which we find ourselves, it is undoubtedly one of the rare days we will witness the two sides engaging each other in public with anything other than harsh words.