Republicans win 2022 Congressional Baseball Game, beat Democrats 10-0
WASHINGTON — Nine Texans were among members of Congress who took to the field at Nationals Park for the annual Congressional baseball game Thursday night, continuing a century-old tradition that returns to a typical schedule after the cancellation in 2020 and a two-year delay months in 2021 due to COVID-19.
But just because it was a bipartisan affair doesn’t mean it was without politics: U.S. Capitol Police Chief Tom Manger said Wednesday there would be security heightened amid threats of protests.
“Our mission is to protect members of Congress during this family event, so we have a robust security plan in place,” Manger said in a statement. “We urge anyone planning to cause trouble at the charity game to stay home. We will not tolerate any violence or illegal behavior at this family event.
The Capitol Police are tasked with protecting Representatives and Senators while they play. Manger said the Metropolitan Police Department in Washington, DC, would deal with any “unlawful protests” that arise.
Climate activists, including a new coalition of climate organizations called Now or Never, among others, had said they planned to demonstrate peacefully at Thursday night’s game for federal legislation to address climate change. .
Some protesters eventually entered the stadium, chanting from their seats: “What do we want? Climate justice! When do we want it? Now!” An activist held a sign outside the park that read“Baseball and Mass Extinction are brought to you by [BP and Chevron logos].”
The 2021 Congressional Baseball Game was not without contention either. Republicans and Democrats clashed over the diamond last September as a government shutdown loomed. The Republicans picked up a 13-12 victory, their first win since 2016.
The Republicans took an early lead this year in the first inning with help from Texans hitters August Pfluger of San Angelo, Kevin Brady of The Woodlands and Jake Ellzey of Midlothian. Halfway through the first, the Republicans were leading 3-0.
In the end — with a big boost from Pfluger as the GOP relief pitcher to close out the game — the Republicans were still holding their own, winning 10-0.
Rep. Colin Allred, D-Dallas and former NFL player, playing in his third congressional baseball game this year, helped his team claim victory in 2019 with two braces. Also on the 2022 Democrat slate was Rep. Marc Veasey of Fort Worth.
“Obviously every time you play you want to win, but we have a scrappy team, and I think that’s kind of our strategy – we just kind of let it go,” Allred said. The Dallas Morning News en route to the Democratic dugout before the game. “Above all, I want to have fun and raise money for charity. If I get hit, that would be good too.
We spoke with Rep. Colin Allred, D-Dallas, before the game. As a former NFL player, he said he just hoped to have fun and raise money for charity.
“I think it’s a little funny, our Texas delegation members are taking it a little too seriously,” Allred said. @dallasnews
— Rebekah Alvey (@bekah_alvey) July 28, 2022
Of the planned climate protests, Allred said, “Every American has the right to express themselves within certain limits, but I think shutting down a charity baseball game isn’t really the best way to do it. “
For the Republicans, six Texans were ready to fight: Representatives Ellzey, Pfluger and Brady, who is expected to retire after this term, as well as Jodey Arrington of Lubbock, Pete Sessions of Waco and Van Taylor of Plano. This was to be Brady’s 25th and final game.
Pfluger played college ball for the U.S. Air Force Academy and played a key role for the GOP in last year’s victory.
Austin Rep. Roger Williams resumed his position as GOP head coach and manager. The Central Texas congressman, a former star player at Texas Christian University who played in the Atlanta Braves farm system, became a car dealer and landed a congressional seat in 2012, has been promoting the game for decades. weeks.
“We won last year; we’re better than we were last year,” Williams told Rep. Tim Burchett, R-Tenn., Wednesday on Burchett’s podcast. “We declared ourselves Team USA after winning last year, so we have a lot at stake right now.”
Williams said the most important part of the ball game, whose origins date back to 1909, is the money it raises for charity – and this year the game’s organizers said they broke records for raising funds and ticket sales. Over $1.5 million had been raised for local non-profit organizations and programs and over 17,000 tickets had been sold.
“As thrilled as we are to welcome our biggest crowd ever, we are even more thrilled by the record number of fundraisers. The game is about bringing Democrats and Republicans together to help the vulnerable and underserved. in our community,” Ryan Thompson of the Congressional Sports for Charity Foundation said in a press release.
Charities include the Washington Literacy Center, Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Washington, Washington Nationals Philanthropies and the United States Capitol Police Memorial Fund, which became a fundraising recipient after the 2017 cabinet shooting. Republican in Alexandria, Virginia.
During their last practice before the 2017 game, members of the Republican team were ambushed by a gunman. Louisiana Rep. Steve Scalise, the GOP whip, was shot in the hip and seriously injured. A Williams staffer, two Capitol police officers and a lobbyist were also injured in the attack.
This report contains material from the Dallas Morning News archives.