Share via Email Members of the Republican and Democratic congressional baseball teams gather for a bipartisan prayer before the start of the game. Long an institution in Washington, the charity game is traditionally played in front of a crowd of staffers, lobbyists and reporters. Trump says Scalise's condition after shooting is 'more difficult' than thought Read more But after the shooting on Wednesday morning, the atmosphere resembled an actual Major League Baseball game rather than the traditional amateur matchup. Television crews broadcast live from Nationals Park on Thursday night, the game was aired on C-Span and the line to get into the stadium what time is congressional baseball game on tv attendees waiting for much of the first inning. The lower deck was packed full of attendees, though, in Washington fashion, fans were more focused on their smartphones and beers than the actual game.
History[ edit ] John Tener organized the first Congressional baseball game The game was organized by Representative John Tener of Pennsylvania , a former professional baseball player.
Deep, dark rumors were in circulation that 'ringers' would be introduced, but when they lined up at 4 o'clock the nine Republicans were stalwart, grand old party men, while the Democrats were of the pure Jeffersonian strain.
Republicans won their first game in Due to its growing popularity, the Congressional Baseball Game was first covered via radio in The radio broadcast continued in succeeding years. An Appropriations bill on Civil War cotton damage was to be debated on the House floor, but a quorum was not present because of the game.
Despite its appeal, the annual game occurred intermittently because of interruptions due to the Great Depression , the Second World War, and intervention by the House leadership. For a while the game was held biennially, until the Washington Evening Star newspaper sponsored it annually from to Despite the sponsorship, Speaker Sam Rayburn of Texas ended the game in , saying it had become too physically straining on the members and was causing injuries.
It was first awarded in —to the Republican team, which was the first team to win three games since Roll Call had begun its sponsorship. Since , a new trophy is awarded to the next team to win three games over the next three, four, or five years , following the year in which the most recent trophy was awarded.
As of the game, 14 trophies have been awarded—ten to the Republicans' team and four to the Democrats' team. The gunman was himself shot by Capitol Police and died at a nearby hospital later that day.
Longworth seated below, May 3, However, after the park's destruction in a fire in March , it was played at the Griffith Stadium built on the same site in Northwest Washington, D.
In , it was moved to the new District Stadium later renamed Robert F.
Kennedy Stadium. It remained there until , when the Washington Senators moved to Texas becoming the Texas Rangers as RFK did not need a long-term baseball seating layout or field. However, attendance was very low until when Sears' Washington office Public Information officer, Larry Horist took over the management of the event, and established the Most Valuable Player awards to be voted by each team and presented by the Speaker of the House and the Majority Leader of the Senate.
He also obtained photos of the players in their hometown uniforms, producing baseball cards packaged in gum wrappers. A limited number of autographed master sheets of the cards occasionally appear for sale on Internet auction sites. The cards were publicized in the Washington Post and became part of the permanent collection of the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Kennedy Memorial Stadium For the team rosters, see footnote.
From to , House Members exclusively filled the rosters—although there appears to have been no prohibition against Senators. Bicameral baseball was inaugurated in , when Senator Harry P.
In the case of Wilmer "Vinegar Bend" Mizell of North Carolina , a former professional pitcher, the Republican team was victorious for each year that he played.
Fielding a once-a-year team presented some problems for members, who often grew rusty when it came to batting. Strong pitching proved decisive in most games but, in , neither team could field a pitcher. As a result, relief pitcher George Susce of the Washington Senators pitched for both teams.
In , Representative Jeannette Rankin of Montana tossed out the first pitch and kept score, becoming the first woman to participate in the annual event. More than 70 years later, in , Representatives Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida, Maria Cantwell of Washington, and Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas became the first women to break into the starting lineup.
Delegate Walter E. Fauntroy of the District of Columbia and Rep. Ron Dellums of California joined the Democratic roster. Despite Fauntroy's hitting prowess, the Democrats lost their eighth straight annual game, 7—3. Joseph F. O'Connell of Massachusetts hit the first home run, gaining three runs for the Democrats.
In the same year, Republican Rep. Edward B.
Vreeland of New York was the first player to be withdrawn due to an injury. In , Rep. Gerald Ford of Michigan hit the first known grand slam, while playing for the Republicans. Ron Paul of Texas hit what was believed to be at that time the first home run hit over the fence.
John Shimkus of Illinois is the only other player to hit an out-of-the-park home run, doing so in