The Upper Deck
U.S. House Chaplain Fr. Patrick J. Conroy leads a prayer for the players during the 56th Annual Congressional Baseball Game for Charity at Nationals Park. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
The Congressional Baseball Game for Charity usually showcases a rivalry as embittered as Yankees-Red Sox or Cardinals-Cubs. But on Thursday night, the annual game of Democrats vs. Republicans had a unified front.
Lawmakers from both sides came together following the shooting of House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) and three others just 36 hours earlier.
Former MLB manager Joe Torre, now MLB's chief baseball officer, presented the game ball to Capitol Police special agent David Bailey, who was injured in Wednesday's shooting, and Bailey threw the ceremonial first pitch, supporting himself with crutches.
“It was a little emotional,” Rep. Dennis Ross (R-Fla.) told the New York Daily News. “There were a lot of us that didn’t want to play just because we just weren’t sure we were ready, we couldn’t get into it, but we had the Democrats reach out to us in a very unifying, conciliatory fashion. It wasn’t patronizing, it wasn’t pity, it was ‘we’re with you,’ and I think a lot of us at the end of the fifth inning were like ‘it doesn’t matter what’s going on (on-field), we’re just glad we’re playing.’”
There were 24,959 tickets sold, a record for a game that was first played in 1909. For the record, Democrats won, 11-2.
BOMBS AWAY Keon Broxton of the Brewers hit a ball 489 feet Thursday, the longest homer at the current Busch Stadium, known as Busch Stadium III. It's the second-longest homer this season, following the 495-foot blast by Aaron Judge last weekend.
$200 FOR IVY? OY VEY
Proving some people will buy anything—and some will sell anything—the Cubs are offering fans a chance to buy a leaf from the ivy covering Wrigley Field walls. For the low, low price of $200—plus $15 shipping and handling—you'll get an authenticated leaf pulled right from the wall at the beloved ballpark. Better hurry, there are only 2,016 leaves—get it?—available for purchase.
I'll buy just about anything #Cubs related, but I draw the line at $200 pieces of ivy. pic.twitter.com/nHISFDgXIf— Steve Beyl (@sbeyl01) June 13, 2017
PAT ON THE BACK
The Shape Of Baseball Is Changing In 2021
The game is getting younger—and in some cases shorter and lighter.
Digging out from the MLB Draft, BA looked at the aftermath. Teddy Cahill wrote about programs that escaped mostly unscathed; JJ Cooper wrote about the diminished concern about the July 7 draft signing deadline; Justin Perline put together a neat graphic about some of the draft's demographics. Elsewhere, Cal coach Dave Esquer is set to replace his mentor, the retiring Mark Marquess, at his alma mater; and Bill Mitchell looked at a baseball marriage that at 60 years is still going strong.