Congressman Roger Williams

Representing the 25th District of Texas

Play ball! Congressional Republicans hold first baseball practice since 2017 shooting

Apr 25, 2018
In The News

They were back on the field Wednesday.

Less than a year after being shot at during their last baseball practice, the Republican Congressional Baseball team got back to work.

Wednesday was the first time since last year's tragic shooting — when an Illinois man who belonged to anti-Republican groups fired about 200 rounds at the team, pinning them for five or 10 minutes under gunfire — that the team returned to the Eugene Simpson Field for practice.

“Despite the horrific event that took place just 10 months ago, it was comforting to be back on that field with my teammates for the first time," said Williams, whose district stretches from the edges of Tarrant County through Austin. "As coach, I knew we had to go back there and show the world that we are strong and that we will not be succumbed to fear.

"We've got a lot of work to do before the game, but I’m confident that we’ll pull out a win against the Democrats this year.”

Last year, several Republican team members or staffers were shot or injured during that last practice before the game.

Williams injured his ankle diving into the third-base dugout to avoid being shot. His staffer, Zack Barth of Houston, was shot in the leg.

“The events of June 14 are still fresh in all of our minds, but getting back to practice is something the group needed,” Barth said. “I am excited to be helping the team again this year and am looking forward to a Republican win.”

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, who was also shot last year, was not at the field.

The annual Congressional Baseball Game — which pits Republicans against Democrats, all in the name of charity — has been a tradition for more than 100 years. During the generally lighthearted game, members wear jerseys from sports teams in their home state.

Last year, the Democrats won.

This year's game is scheduled for June 14 at Nationals Park.