UPDATED 6:20 AM PT — Thurs. June 14, 2018
Republicans and Democrats are set to come together for the annual Congressional Baseball Game. The first pitch is scheduled for 7:00 PM Thursday night at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C.
The event will be especially emotional as it marks one year since the shooting at a GOP practice, which badly injured House Majority Whip Steve Scalise.
The Louisiana representative has had a long road to recovery, and will start at second base in Thursday’s match.
While preparing for the charity baseball event in Alexandria, Virginia last June, Scalise came under fire by a lone gunman.
Earlier this week, the 52-year-old representative took to the field alongside his GOP teammates in preparation for the annual event.
Since being critically injured last year, Scalise has undergone multiple surgeries that have kept him from his office in D.C.
In a photo shared by Republican Senator Jeff Flake Wednesday, Scalise is seen on the pitcher’s mound.
— Jeff Flake (@JeffFlake) June 6, 2018
Speaking at the Faith and Freedom Conference Friday, Scalise — though still requiring a walking cane — called his survival and recovery a miracle.
“The miracles that god performs are real and I saw him, I saw Him that day on the ball field field for many reasons,” he stated. “I shouldn’t be here if you look at what happened that day except for the grace of God.”
On the morning of June 14, 2017, 66-year-old James Hodgkinson opened fire on House Republicans, who were practicing at Eugene Simpson Stadium Park.
The gunman struck Scalise as well as congressional aide Zack Barth, lobbyist Matt Mika, and U.S. Capitol Police officer Crystal Griner who was later awarded the Medal of Valor for engaging the suspect while wounded.
President Trump called Grinerand the other officers who returned gunfire and fatally shot the suspect — “American heroes.”
Following his injury, Scalise spent weeks fighting multiple infections and was later transferred to a rehabilitation center in D.C.
In his return to the nations capitol last September, the representative was greeted with a bipartisan standing ovation from fellow House members.
The 2017 game between House Democrats and Republicans raised one million dollars for charity, and set an all-time attendance record with 25,000 tickets sold.