The coach of the Republican baseball team says he personally asked President Donald Trump to attend the annual game on Thursday, the anniversary of the shooting rampage that wounded Rep. Steve Scalilse and others.
‘I asked him to come, I guess it was last week, I was over at the Oval Office,’ said Rep. Roger Williams. ‘He said, ‘I’ll be there.”
The White House did not immediately respond to the DailyMail.com’s request for comment.
Investigators and men dressed in baseball gear gather at Eugene Simpson Field, the site where a gunman opened fire on the Republican practice session.
Rep. Steve Scalise was shot in the hip last year
The Congressional game went on as scheduled after the shooting.Members of the Republican and Democratic congressional baseball teams gathered for a bipartisan prayer before the start
Ivanka Trump attended last year’s game
President Donald Trump greeting Rep. Steve Scalise at a luncheon this year, visited him in the hospital after he was shot
The annual game between Republicans and Democrats, which dates to 1909, carries great emotional weight this year in the wake of the attack against Scalise and other players.
Scalise sustained life-threatening injuries but returned to work last fall. He has been practicing with the Republican team this year.
Williams said Scalise was expected to start at second base on Thursday at Nationals Park.
Also planning to be at the game, Williams said, were members of Trump’s Cabinet and other special guests.
Thursday also is Trump’s 72nd birthday.
The president has been publicly supportive of Scalise, the Capitol Police officers who were wounded and other first responders. At the State of the Union speech in January, Trump cited Scalise, who was shot in the hip and faced a grueling recovery.
Trump called him ‘one of the toughest people ever to serve in this House, a guy who took a bullet, almost died, and was back to work three-and-a-half months later, the legend from Louisiana, Congressman Steve Scalise.’
Last year, on June 14, Scalise, other lawmakers and players were practicing for the game, which was the next day, when shots rang out.
A ten-minute shootout ensued between the shooter James Hodgkinson and officers from the Capitol and Alexandria Police. Officers shot Hodgkinson, who died from his wounds later that day.
Scalise, who was at second base when the shooting started, was shot in the hip. The hospital reported that after the bullet struck his hip, it traveled across his pelvis – fracturing bones, injuring internal organs, and causing severe bleeding.
He is the first sitting member of Congress to have been shot since Arizona Representative Gabrielle Giffords was shot in 2011.
Trump visited Scalise in the hospital.
Also shot were Crystal Griner, a U.S. Capitol Police officer assigned to protect Scalise; Zack Barth, a congressional aide; and Matt Mika, a Tyson Foods lobbyist.
Mika was shot multiple times in the chest and arm, injuring his lungs, sternum and ribs.
President Trump addressed the Congressional game last year
Steve Scalise returned to practice in June and will play in the game
A photo of the shooter James Hodgkinson
House Majority Whip Steve Scalise returned to Congress on September 28, walking with crutches
Rep. Roger Williams speaks during news conference with members of the Republican baseball team after the first practice of the year on the same field where the shooting took place
Rep. Raul Ruiz tags out Rep. Mike Bishop at second base as Rep. Tim Ryan watches during the annual Congressional Baseball Game at Nationals Park on June 15, 2017
David Bailey and Griner, two of the Capitol Police officers assigned to protect Scalise, were both injured. Griner was shot in the ankle while Bailey was treated and released after sustaining a minor injury not caused by gunfire.
Barth, a legislative aide to Williams, was shot in the calf.
The annual game went on the next day as scheduled. More than 20,000 tickets were sold, bringing in more than $1 million for charity. Attendance was greater than at some major league baseball games being played the same night.
Bailey threw out the first pitch. Relying on crutches because of his injury, he received a standing ovation from the crowd in Nationals Park. The Democratic team defeated the Republican team 11–2, but loaned the trophy to the Republicans until Scalise finished his recovery.
Scalise returned to Congress on September 28, walking with crutches, to many cheers and tears.
‘I am definitely a living example that miracles really do happen,’ he said on the House floor.
He returned to baseball practice on June 6 of this year.