Members of Congress set for annual baseball game a day after shooting

(Tom Williams CQ Roll Call via ABC News)

The day after a gunman opened fire at a baseball practice for members of the Republican congressional delegation, the party's team will proceed with plans to play a squad of rival Democrats amid concerns over the intensity of the partisan fervor in the United States.

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., remains in critical condition after he and three others were shot Wednesday in Alexandria, Virginia, as the GOP team prepared for the annual Congressional Baseball Game.


A congressional staffer, a lobbyist and a Capitol Police officer responding to the shooting were the others struck by suspect James T. Hodgkinson, a man with a history of criminal run-ins who had regularly expressed strident criticism of President Trump -and who reportedly asked a pair of congressmen whether the group on the field was comprised of Democrats or Republicans.

Hodgkinson was wounded in an exchange of fire with law enforcement and later died.

Scalise in critical condition after gunman opened fire at congressional baseball practice History of the 108-year-old Congressional Baseball Game linked to Va. shooting Politicians, public figures react to Virginia shooting that injured Rep. Steve Scalise Who is Steve Scalise, conservative congressman injured in Virginia shooting Gabby Giffords on Virginia shooting: It was 'an attack on all who serve' Congressional Sports for Charity said it has sold more than 20,000 tickets and raised over $1 million for tonight's game "due to the outpouring of support and generosity" from sponsors. By comparison, last year's game raised about $500,000, according to reports from the time.

It also said the Washington Nationals baseball team has opened up additional seating for the game. Nationals Park seats 41,546 people.

The proceeds from this year's game, which starts at 7:05 p.m., will benefit the Washington Literacy Center, The Boys and Girls Club of Greater Washington, the Washington Nationals Dream Foundation and the Capitol Police Memorial Fund.

The Congressional Baseball Game traces its roots back 108 years to Rep. John Tener, R-Pa., a former major league ballplayer who founded the event. Since then, the game has grown in popularity and graduated to the diamond at Nationals Park in Southeast Washington where it serves as a fundraiser for various local charities.

After Wednesday's shooting, a number of legislators spoke about what the game, billed on its website as "the only annual partisan event beloved by all," means to them and why it was important for the game to go forward.

"We're playing the game tomorrow," said Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, the Republican team manager. "We're united, not as Republicans and Democrats, but as United States representatives."

Rep. Mike Doyle, D-Pa., the Democrats' manager, said, "When the leadership of this country is civil towards one another, maybe the public will start being civil towards one another too."

In 79 contests listed on the game's website, the parties share an even record of 39 wins, 39 losses and one tie, with Democrats benefiting from wins in seven straight games from 2009-2015. Republicans snapped the streak with an 8-7 victory in the 2016 contest with Rep. Tom Rooney, R-Fla., driving in the winning run in the game's final inning.

The teams will honor Scalise tonight by wearing Louisiana State University baseball shirts, a tribute to the whip's home state, according to a spokesman for Rep. Roger Marshall, R-Kan.

ABC News' Jon Garcia contributed to this report.

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