The Congressional Baseball Game, a Washington tradition since 1909, took on a little extra meaning Thursday night.
Democrats and Republicans played at Nationals Park just a day after a gunman opened fire at a GOP practice, injuring US Rep. Steve Scalise and several others.
The event raised money for several charities, including the Capitol Police Memorial Fund — a late addition after Wednesday’s shooting in nearby Alexandria, Virginia. Two of the people injured, Crystal Griner and David Bailey, are members of the Capitol Police. Bailey threw out the game’s first pitch.
“By playing tonight, you are showing the world that we will not be intimidated by threats, acts of violence, or assaults on our democracy,” said President Donald Trump in a video message. “The game will go on.”
Photographer Stephen Voss was there to capture the night’s action and atmosphere. See more of his photos from the game:
People at the game sign a card for those injured in Wednesday’s incident in Alexandria. Four people were shot in Wednesday’s attack: Scalise, Griner, lobbyist Matt Mika and congressional staffer Zack Barth. Scalise and Mika were still in critical condition when the game took place. Griner was in good condition, and Barth had already been released from the hospital.
The President’s video message is played before the game. Trump wanted to attend the game, but his aides said it was too late to make the necessary security arrangements.
Fans stand for a moment of silence before the game. There were 24,959 tickets sold, and more than $1 million was raised for charity.
A spectator holds up a sign to show support for Scalise. “After the horrible thing that happened yesterday, we wanted to come to play, Democrats and Republicans alike,” said US Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona. “We’re sending a good message to Steve (Scalise) by being here.”
David Bailey, a special agent of the Capitol Police, throws out the first pitch. Bailey was on crutches after sustaining a minor injury in Wednesday’s attack. He was given the game ball by Hall of Famer Joe Torre, who is seen on the far left.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi wears a Louisiana State University T-shirt to honor Scalise, who attended the school. Players from both teams wore LSU hats instead of representing their home teams as usual.
“I saw a lot of effort from both teams to keep the game cordial and friendly,” Voss said. “The stadium was divided into reserved seating for Democrats and for Republicans, but as I sat in the Republican side taking photos, I often heard people cheer a good hit or fielding play by the Democrats’ team.”
US Rep. Nanette Barragan reaches first base after hitting a single during the game. Voss said it was one of the biggest cheers of the night. “The Republican team had no women on it, and the Democratic team had only two women, so the crowd seemed especially supportive throughout the stadium when Rep. Barragan or Rep. (Linda) Sanchez was up at bat.”
A fan wears patriotic garb during the game.
Players congratulate one another after the game, which the Democrats won 11-2. “At the end of the game, the players lingered on the field, talking across parties,” Voss said. “I was especially struck by the players on each side wearing LSU hats to honor Rep. Scalise. These same politicians who often had harsh things to say about each other while giving speeches on the House and Senate floor or on social media made a point to present a united front, and so many of the people I talked to at the stadium talked about unity.”
Stephen Voss is a photographer based in Washington. Follow him on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Photo editor: Brett Roegiers