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With a crutch in one hand and a baseball in the other, David Bailey was a symbol of resilience on Thursday night.
One day after the Capitol Police officer was injured protecting congressmen and aides from a gunman, Bailey drew a loud cheer from the crowd as he put aside his crutches to throw out the first pitch at the Congressional Baseball Game at Nationals Park in Washington.
The annual charity game between Republicans and Democrats was played before a record crowd of 24,959 one day after House Majority Whip Steve Scalise was critically wounded and three others were injured by a gunman James Hodgkinson. Scalise was shot through the hip and has undergone two surgeries.
Hodgkinson, 66, opened fire at the Republican team as they practiced at a field in Alexandria, Virginia, on Wednesday. He was shot by Capitol Police and died of his injuries.
Bailey suffered a minor injury while in pursuit of Hodgkinson and used crutches to get to the mound on Thursday. The Washington Post reported he was struck by shrapnel during the shootout.
Another Capitol Police officer, Crystal Griner, was shot in the ankle and remains hospitalized.
Bailey received hugs from Major League Baseball executive Joe Torre and Roberto Clemente Jr., the son of the baseball Hall of Famer, after throwing out the pitch.
Bailey was a last-minute addition. British ambassador Nigel Kim Darroch was originally scheduled to throw out the pitch.
Players on both teams wore Louisiana State University hats in support of Scalise, a Republican from Louisiana and LSU alum.
Scalise's usual position is second base, where players gathered to kneel in prayer before the game as the crowd chanted "U-S-A! U-S-A!" Fans wore shirts with "Team Scalise" written on them.
The hometown Nationals also lent some catcher's gear to the Republicans, whose own equipment had been taken as evidence from the scene of the shooting.
The Democrats won the game, 11-2, behind pitcher Cedric Richmond, a close friend of Scalise's from Louisiana. They decided to have the coveted Roll Call Trophy that goes to the winner sent to Scalise's office.
"We will not be intimidated by threats, acts of violence, or assaults on our Democracy,'' President Donald Trump said in a videotaped message at the game. "The game will go on.”
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