The Small But Meaningful Way Colleagues Honored Steve Scalise At The Congressional Baseball Game

"Got a new hat."

The annual Congressional Baseball Game between the Democratic and Republican teams went on as scheduled Thursday night, but took on new meaning following Wednesday's shooting at the GOP practice in Alexandria, Va. Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle honored injured House majority whip Steve Scalise during the game with a small but heartwarming gesture.

According to CNN, Louisiana State University overnighted about 70 LSU hats and two dozen T-shirts to Washington, D.C., prior to the game. Interns handed them out on Thursday, and many of the lawmakers who were playing chose to don the gear as a tribute to Rep. Scalise, who graduated from the school in 1989 and served in the Louisiana state legislature for 12 years before representing the state in Congress. He wears a Louisiana jersey each time he participates in the game.



"We are grateful to Congress for thinking of Rep. Steve Scalise during this difficult time and recognizing him by wearing LSU gear in support of his recovery," LSU President F. King Alexander said in a statement. "Rep. Scalise is a proud LSU alumnus and great supporter of the university, and we are proud to help out even in this small way. The thoughts and prayers of the entire LSU community are with Rep. Scalise, his family and all of those injured."

Several lawmakers, as well as the Congressional Game Twitter account, shared photos of gold and purple hats. Apparently Rep. Roger Marshall had originally organized a plan to purchase LSU T-shirts, but the order didn't ship in time — making LSU's contribution all the more meaningful.

Before the game, players from both teams knelt on the field in Nationals Park to pray for Scalise, who remains hospitalized, as well as others who were injured in the attack. That includes lobbyist Matt Mika, whose friends handed out small white ribbons at the game.



David Bailey, one of two Capitol police officers injured in the shooting, was also honored, as he tossed out the first pitch of the game. Signs in the stands thanked Bailey and his fellow officers, including another injured officer named Crystal Griner, for their bravery in responding to the shooting.

A record 24,959 tickets for the game were reportedly sold, with over $1 million being raised for Congressional Sports for Charity. According to the game's social media, the Capitol Police Memorial Fund was added to this year's list of beneficiaries.

Ultimately, the game went to the Democrats, who beat the Republican team 11-2. However, the lawmakers maintained the sense of bipartisan unity that has pervaded the aftermath of Wednesday's shooting. According to CNN, Democratic manager Rep. Mike Doyle called Republican manager Rep. Joe Barton to join him while being presented the trophy. Doyle then gave it to the Republicans to put in Scalise's office.

As House minority leader Nancy Pelosi said before the game, "Tonight, we're all Team Scalise."

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