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Thursday night marks the 87th playing of the Congressional Baseball Game, where Republican and Democratic members of Congress will take the field at Nationals Park and raise money for several charities.
Money will also be raised for the United States Police Memorial Fund, which has happened every year since the 2017 shooting at a Republican practice.
Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., was shot at that practice, but fully recovered and will be playing in his fourth straight Congressional Baseball Game Thursday.
The Republicans took home last year’s game, 13-12, with the help of Rep. Greg Steube’s, R-Fla., home run. The victory gave them the all-time lead in the contest, as they are 43-42-1 entering Thursday. However, it was just their second victory since 2009.
The first game was played in 1909, but had some pauses here and there due to the Great Depression, both World Wars, and intervention by the House leadership.
In 1962, though, it was revived for good (aside from 2020 due to the pandemic) with a twist. Beginning that year was the playing for the Roll Call Trophy, which has been awarded to whoever wins three of five games, with a new series beginning the following year. The Republicans have won the trophy 10 times, but not since 2008, while the Dems have won it five times. The Dems won the trophy in 2018, and the current series is tied at one game apiece.
This year’s game has not come without issue, though, as climate activists have threatened to protest outside the stadium.
The activists have called for protesters to shut down the Congressional Baseball Game. One of the organizations involved in the protest had previously offered bounties for information on the location of Supreme Court justices after the overturning of Roe v. Wade.
President Joe Biden attended last year’s game and was inducted into the Congressional Baseball Hall of Fame.