Game on: Tragedy won't stop annual baseball game

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Republicans broke a seven-year losing streak to Democrats in 2016. Due to its growing popularity, the Congressional Baseball Game was first covered via radio in 1928. The Republicans wouldn't clinch a win until 1916.

The speaker sent the Sergeant at Arms to the field to gather the members, but rain had already canceled the game, sending the congressman back to Capitol Hill. According to the historical records, the House "eventually achieved a quorum, but adjourned without making progress on the bill because members remained preoccupied with their unfinished work on the baseball diamond".

-The game hasn't happened every year.

Despite its appeal, the annual game occurred intermittently because of interruptions due to the Great Depression, the Second World War, and intervention by the House leadership.

-In 1958, House Speaker Sam Rayburn, for whom there's now a congressional building named, ended the game.

Occasionally, U.S. presidents have attended the game, including Barack Obama, who watched the 2015 game from the sidelines.

Pledging that the game will continue, Barton added, "We're united not as Republicans and Democrats, but as United States representatives".

Thursday night will be the 80th meeting. The all-time series is tied at 39-39, with one tie.

On Wednesday morning, a gunman ambushed the field where the Republican team was practicing in Arlington, Virginia.

The Congressional Baseball Game Facebook page will carry a live stream of the game and it will be broadcast on C-SPAN, a spokeswoman for the Congressional Baseball Game said. Richards described the game's importance during a speech on the House floor in 1948.

There has been no word yet of any changes or additional plans for the game, but one thing we can all hope for is that the atmosphere will be one of highly charged solidarity.

Despite the tragedy this morning, the game is still an excellent opportunity for the country to band together, even just for the time it takes to get through nine innings down at Nationals Park. The money will benefit the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Washington, The Washington Literacy Center, and the Washington Nationals Dream Foundation.

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