GOP Prevails Over Dems in Memorable Congressional Baseball Contest (photos)

It was arguably one of the best games in the 112-year history of the Congressional Baseball Game for Charity as the Republicans defeated the Democrats 13-12 at Nationals Park on Wednesday, September 29. Even better, the losing team did not demand an audit of the official score card, and the GOP catcher agreed to wear a mask.

For the Republicans, it was only their third win in the last 13 years, and their first since 2016. The Democrats took the field without their long time ace,  pitcher Cedric Richmond (D-La.), who had earlier quit the House to take a job inside the Biden Administration. Richmond, along with John Shimkus (R-Ill.), was honored before the game by being inducted into the Congressional Baseball Hall of Fame.

The COVID pandemic had already forced the cancellation of the 2020 game and delayed this year’s contest. It arrived during a critical period on Capitol Hill as Democrats worked to pass President Biden’s economic agenda. On the playing field emotions were no less intense.

The game which included several lead changes, featured a rare “out-of-the-park” home run by Rep. Greg Steube (R-Fla.), and a surprise visit by President Joe Biden who spent face time in both dugouts. Steube threw 120 pitches in 5 2/3 innings and was the winning pitcher. Republicans Blake Moore (R-Utah) and Anthony Gonzalez (R-Ohio) hit consecutive inside-the-park home runs in the first inning.

For the Democrats, Jimmy Panetta (D-Calif.) connected on a pair of two-run triples plus an inside-the-park home run of his own – all culminating with head-first slides. Rep. August Pfluger (R-Texas) managed to record the final four outs including a bases loaded strikout of Panetta with the bases loaded in the 6th.  The seven inning game ended with the tying run on second base. 

The annual bipartisan affair raised $1.2 million for charities including the Washington Literacy Center, The Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Washington, and Washington Nationals Philanthropies along with the United States Capitol Police Memorial Fund in gratitude to the brave officers at the Republican practice shooting on June 14, 2017. House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.), who was seriously injured in that attack, received warm applause when he batted leadoff for his team in the first inning.

View a slideshow of Jeff Malet’s photos from the 2021 Congressional Game for Charity by clicking on the photo icons below.


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