Congressional Republicans return to baseball practice months after shooting

Congressional Republicans hit the dugout before dawn Wednesday morning for their first baseball practice of the seaso...

Posted: Apr 25, 2018 3:53 PM
Updated: Apr 25, 2018 3:53 PM

Congressional Republicans hit the dugout before dawn Wednesday morning for their first baseball practice of the season, returning to Simpson Field together for the first time since the tragic June shooting that left six people hospitalized, including House majority whip Steve Scalise.

"This baseball field, I think it epitomizes what makes America great," said Texas GOP Rep. Joe Barton, the team's manager.

Barton was at the practice with his two sons last year when the gunman opened fire around the field, shooting at least 70 rounds.

"I'm very proud of the team, I'm proud of the resiliency they exhibited last year and I'm proud of how they have responded," he said.

Members were in good spirits during a catching drill on the muddy field, encouraging each other with "good jobs" and "way to gos."

RELATED: A short history of the Congressional Baseball Game

But signs of the shooting were still present over ten months later: a strong increase in security presence by Capitol Police, chain link fence bent and broken by bullets next to the dugout.

The practices will continue at multiple fields across the Washington area over the next few weeks, following guidance from Capitol Police.

Members in attendance Wednesday included team coach Rep. Roger Williams, and Reps. Chuck Fleischmann, Lou Barletta, Mo Brooks, Jack Bergman, Mike Conaway, Jodey Arrington, Mia Love and Sen. Jeff Flake. Many of the members wore Capitol Police baseball caps.

Georgia Rep. Barry Loudermilk wore the same bright yellow jersey to practice as last year.

"A lot of emotions when we left the field that day," he said. "One of the things that stayed with me was we never got to finish the practice that we started, and that's why I wore the same uniform I was wearing on the field that day because it was important to come out here and show the world that we're not going to be deterred."

Scalise, who is at home following a "successful" planned surgery last week while continuing to recover from injuries he sustained last year, was not able to attend, but said he was "glad" to see practice start up again.

"It is so important that we continue to maintain the same tradition," Scalise said in a statement read by Barton. "Most years we compete for starting positions and rekindle old relationships. This year's different: the whole country is watching with pride as we come together and prove that one act of madness will not tear the spirit of camaraderie and philanthropy that has made this such a strong institution of Congress."

Staffers Matt Mika and Zach Barth, who were both shot that June day, were also at the practice. Mika, who was shot in the chest and the arm, said being back on the field was "really special," and praised the bravery of Capitol Police, Alexandria Police and other first responders, including paramedic Fiona Apple, who helped save his life that day and returned to support the team Wednesday.

The congressional charity baseball game will take place June 14, one year to the day after the shooting, at Nationals' Park in Washington, DC.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 49575

Reported Deaths: 2739
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion11812690
Lake5337247
Elkhart343257
Allen2867133
St. Joseph202569
Cass16439
Hamilton1629101
Hendricks1439100
Johnson1306118
Porter78038
Tippecanoe7439
Clark67144
Madison66864
Vanderburgh6296
LaPorte59727
Bartholomew59245
Howard58258
Kosciusko5654
Marshall5217
Noble49128
LaGrange4829
Jackson4773
Delaware46052
Boone45944
Hancock45736
Shelby43425
Floyd39144
Morgan32831
Monroe31528
Grant30226
Montgomery29720
Henry29316
Dubois2906
Clinton2882
White26810
Decatur25532
Lawrence25125
Dearborn24723
Vigo2408
Warrick23229
Harrison21722
Greene19132
Miami1892
Jennings17912
Putnam1708
DeKalb1634
Scott1628
Daviess15017
Wayne1496
Perry1409
Orange13623
Steuben1332
Franklin1278
Jasper1252
Ripley1247
Wabash1152
Carroll1122
Fayette1037
Gibson1032
Newton9910
Whitley995
Starke963
Huntington822
Randolph804
Wells791
Jefferson782
Fulton731
Jay680
Washington671
Pulaski661
Knox650
Clay644
Rush603
Owen511
Adams491
Posey490
Benton480
Spencer461
Sullivan451
Brown421
Blackford392
Fountain332
Crawford320
Tipton311
Switzerland280
Parke240
Martin220
Ohio210
Vermillion170
Warren151
Union130
Pike110
Unassigned0193

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 61331

Reported Deaths: 3006
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Franklin11122439
Cuyahoga8518383
Hamilton6396206
Lucas2859304
Marion273739
Montgomery228335
Summit2269209
Pickaway220641
Mahoning1885239
Butler172147
Columbiana132460
Stark1171114
Lorain107368
Trumbull101474
Warren91825
Clark78410
Delaware64515
Fairfield61417
Tuscarawas59010
Belmont55822
Lake55122
Medina54832
Licking53612
Miami48631
Portage47759
Wood46151
Ashtabula43844
Clermont4367
Geauga41543
Wayne36752
Richland3595
Allen33841
Greene3009
Mercer29410
Erie26022
Darke25326
Holmes2524
Huron2342
Madison2069
Ottawa16124
Sandusky14215
Washington14220
Crawford1375
Ross1363
Putnam13315
Coshocton1323
Hardin12312
Morrow1201
Auglaize1094
Jefferson952
Muskingum921
Union921
Athens911
Monroe8917
Hancock841
Preble811
Hocking798
Lawrence790
Guernsey763
Shelby724
Williams722
Clinton700
Logan661
Fulton650
Ashland621
Wyandot615
Carroll603
Brown591
Scioto560
Defiance543
Knox531
Fayette510
Highland471
Champaign461
Van Wert430
Perry401
Seneca362
Henry320
Jackson270
Paulding270
Pike270
Adams241
Vinton222
Gallia201
Noble130
Harrison121
Meigs120
Morgan110
Unassigned00
Fort Wayne
Clear
73° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 73°
Angola
Clear
72° wxIcon
Hi: 78° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 72°
Huntington
Clear
72° wxIcon
Hi: 78° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 72°
Decatur
Clear
72° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 72°
Van Wert
Clear
72° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 72°
Breezy, Sunny Saturday
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events