Democrats win annual baseball game with special meaning

The shooting during the Republican Congressional baseball practice Wednesday, critically wounded House GOP Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana, Capitol police officers and a current and former congressional aide.

The shooter was identified as James T. Hodgkinson, a 66-year-old home inspector from IL who had several minor run-ins with the law in recent years and belonged to a Facebook group called "Terminate the Republican Party".

Doctors said the bullet traveled across his pelvis fracturing bones and injured internal organs, causing the loss of a lot of blood.

The hospital where Rep. Steve Scalise is recuperating from a gunshot wound says he "remains in critical condition, but has improved in the last 24 hours".

The congressional baseball game will go on as planned Thursday - with a distinct Louisiana ...

The Congressional Baseball Game for Charity dates back to 1909, and became popular enough by 1928 to be broadcast on the radio, according to a history of the game listed on a dedicated website.

As they prepared for a bipartisan baseball game Thursday night that promised at least a brief lull in the political mud fight, some said they hoped the good feeling would last past the final inning.

The two also delivered flowers to both Scalise's family and to Capitol Police Officer Crystal Giner, who was wounded in Wednesday's attack.

The FBI said it was investigating the shooter's "activities and social media impressions" in the months leading up to the attack.

Calling himself a democratic socialist on his Facebook page, Hodgkinson had bashed Republicans for their health care and pro-rich policies.

Democrats bounced back from a loss a year ago, when the game was played the night after they held an all-night session on the House floor to protest Republican inaction on gun legislation. But Slater said authorities were still working to determine a motive and had "no indication" Hodgkinson knew about the ball practice ahead of time.

In a statement, Texas Rep. Roger Williams, one of the team's coaches, said one of his staff members, legislative correspondent Zack Barth, was shot during the incident and is receiving medical attention. Jeff Flake said Mika was the most seriously injured.

Investigators studying Wednesday's attack at a suburban Virginia park said shooter James Hodgkinson had obtained his rifle and handgun from licensed firearms dealers. The man calmly asked which party's lawmakers were practicing and Duncan told him they were the Republicans.

Since the shooting, members of Congress have spoken about a need for unity, at a time when polarization seems to be at an all-time high.

"I'm a Democrat and this is a fun game to come to", Time reported citing Jared Weaver, who had brought both his daughters to the game. "After what happened yesterday, I just wanted to show my solidarity", Pritchett said.

As of Thursday afternoon, more than 20,000 tickets had been sold and more than $1 million had been raised for Congressional Sports for Charity, far exceeding the $650,000 expected before Wednesday's shooting.

  • Salvatore Jensen