"What a handsome day for baseball", blared a voice over the loudspeakers, after Bruce Springsteen's "Glory Days" faded out, and John Fogerty's "Centerfield" finished, too. The popular annual face-off, which raises money for charity, is scheduled for Thursday evening at Nationals Park across the Potomac River in Washington, and will go forward as planned.
The shooting occurred at a popular park and baseball complex where Republican lawmakers and others were gathered for a morning practice about 7 a.m.
President Donald Trump announced at a press conference the suspected shooter, James Hodgkinson, a 66-year-old IL man, died of wounds sustained in the fire fight with police and security professionals.
At a Wednesday afternoon news conference, Barton and the Democratic coach, U.S. Rep. Mike Doyle of Pennsylvania, stressed the humanizing impact of baseball and the newfound importance of today's game at such a toxic moment in American politics.
"These folks are heroes", said Tennessee Rep. "As members of Congress, we are not Democrats and Republicans today; we are simply public servants".
"We were scared because when the gunfire didn't stop we thought, 'Oh my gosh he's gonna come in there and we're like sitting ducks, '" Fleishmann said. Earlier, both teams prayed at second base. "It was chaotic and afterwards it was very sad because there were so many people injured".
Attendees, both politicians and constituents, spoke about how important the game was as a bipartisan beacon.
"It was not out of the ordinary for him to do what he did yesterday, no way", said Priscilla Lewis of Durham, who said she's like a godmother to Bailey. "At what point do you have a congregation of members - and we're not even more special than anybody else, but we are targets - do you have a security detail with you?"
"Everyone's getting a bunch of death threats right now", Representative Ruben Gallego, a Democrat from Arizona, told the LA Times. "And they were laying down but then I'm seeing the shots hitting the dirt around them". "It starts here, it starts with each other".
There was a strong police presence outside the stadium.
President Donald Trump released a statement after being briefed: "The Vice President and I are aware of the shooting incident in Virginia and are monitoring developments closely". "An attack on one of us is an attack on all of us", Ryan said, to prolonged applause. "The game will go on". Rank-and-file members receive protection outside of the Capitol if the police believe someone has made a credible threat against their safety.
Most congress members don't have their own security details, but high-ranking officials like Scalise typically do.
"I signed up for this, but my 3-year-old didn't and our families didn't and I think that's the part we have to address", said Congressional Black Caucus Chairman Cedric Richmond, D-La. When you have people watching that who are deranged. While it is unfortunate that Scalise was struck during the shooting, everyone involved is lucky he was on the field with them.
Bailey loves traveling, going to the gym and putting Heinz ketchup on everything, Adams Jones and fraternity brother Leonardo Williams said.