Thousands of people packed into Nationals Park Thursday night to watch the Republicans take on the Democrats in the 56th annual Congressional Baseball Charity Game.
This year, though, the stmosphere was different. Capitol Police increased security after a gunman opened fire on the GOP team practicing on Wednesday.
Republicans and Democrats, both on and off the field, pushed party politics aside on Thursday to come together in solidarity.
Mark Sanford, R, South Carolina said, "I think as much as anything, today is an act of solidarity of Republicans and Democrats coming together to say what happened yesterday is not going to cancel this game."
60 members of Congress were on the roster, but only 59 took the field. Representative Steve Scalise noticably absent from the Republican bench as he recovers in a hospital just a few miles away.
Ryan Costello says, "Steve Scalise plays second base, I play short stop." Costello, PA, was first at bat Thursday night for the Republicans. The last time his team took the field together was Wednesday at practice when a gunman opened fire and shot four people. "I think it is a good time for us all to realize that those who serve in elected office are trying their hardest," says Costello, "they are in it for the right reasons, and we are human beings too and this was a very, very scary experience.
Game organizers say ticket sales skyrocketed on Wednesday with people wanting to show their support. They are on track to raise $1 million this year, nearly twice as much as last year.
The proceeds will be donated to several charities including the Capitol Police Memorial Fund, in honor of the two capitol police officers who were shot on Wednesday, including David Bailey who was out of the hospital and ready to throw the first pitch.
If you're curious who won the game, it was the Democrats who scored the most runs, but they gave the trophy to the Republicans so it can sit in Steve Scalise's office.