Play Ball! Congressional Baseball Game Goes On in Defiance of Shooting

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US lawmakers returned to regular business on Thursday and prepared to play their annual charity baseball game, one day after a man who had expressed anger toward President Donald Trump opened fire on Republican legislators, leaving a senior congressman in critical condition. Richmond played baseball in college and kicked off his congressional career with a one-hitter in 2011 and has been the game's dominant player pretty much since then.

President Trump delivered a videotaped statement, saying, "we will not be intimidated. the game will go on". Many on the Republican side were fresh from the horror of the ballfield shooting rampage a day earlier.

"We need to play". One of William's staffers, Zack Barth, was shot in the leg Wednesday, but was released from the hospital later that day.

"That gives me some comfort", he said, of the local police presence.

Sava estimates there are hundreds of bullet fragments in Scalise's pelvis and says doctors don't intend to try to remove them all, as that could cause more harm than good.

Scalise was among five people wounded when a shooter sprayed rifle fire at congressional Republicans practicing on a diamond in Alexandria. However, one person was not at the game: President Donald Trump.

"The congressman's status remains critical", Jack Sava, director of trauma at MedStar Washington Hospital Centre.

Senior US Republican congressman Steve Scalise is showing sign of improvement and is speaking with loved ones after being shot at a baseball game near Washington, DC last week.

Matt Mika, a lobbyist for Tyson Foods, is also in critical condition.

The deciding factor will probably be Rep. Cedric Richmond, D-La., who may be the best to have ever played in the game.

When the members of the Republican team were announced at Nationals Park, mention of Scalise's name drew a standing ovation from the areas designated for Republican, Democrat and nonpartisan fans alike.

"My dear friend Steve Scalise took a bullet for all of us", Trump said.

His wife, Sue Hodgkinson, spoke publicly on Thursday evening for the first time since the shooting.

The Illinois congressman grew emotional as he described seeing his colleague, Rep. Steve Scalise, lying motionless on the ground. We get to know them as people, which I think is really important.

"A lot of times in politics we have divisions but it shouldn't come to violence", he said.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., on Thursday urged prayers for Scalise and the other victims of the shooting.

Former Yankees manager Joe Torre walked toward the mound in what everyone suspected would be the ceremonial first pitch.

One of the Capitol Police officers, David Bailey, who was hailed as a hero for the way he helped to subdue the gunman, appeared on crutches. "This week, our nation was shocked and horrified when a gunman opened fire on a Member of Congress".

For some attendees, however, even this ball game was a work event. The fact that his injuries brought him close to death was not widely known initially. He said the officers "might have put the guy down quicker if they had been able to use a long gun instead of just pistols".

Trump addressed the players by video message, hailing Scalise's courage. From the Democratic side of the stadium, there were boos.

This year, the charities that will benefit include the Washington Literacy Center, The Boys and Girls Club of Greater Washington, and the Washington Nationals Dream Foundation, as well as a fund for fallen Capitol Police officers.

There was also a massive security presence at the game; police in body armor could be seen strolling the outfield promenade with weapons.

"I'll miss the banter with him back and forth, but I'm sure there's some substitutes over there I can go pick a fight with", Richmond told reporters. Nationals Park seats 41,546 people.

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