The Congressional Baseball Game: Since 1909

The Congressional Baseball Game is an annual event in which members of the United States Congress, both Senators and Representatives, come together for a friendly baseball game.

The tradition dates back to 1909 and has become a bipartisan event, fostering camaraderie among members of different political parties.

Key points about the Congressional Baseball Game since 1909:

  1. Inception (1909): The tradition began in 1909 when Representative John Tener of Pennsylvania, a former professional baseball player and later the tenth Governor of Pennsylvania, organized the first game.
  2. Historical Background: The game serves as a way for members of Congress to build relationships and promote bipartisanship in a more informal setting than the legislative chambers.
  3. Frequency: Initially, the Congressional Baseball Game was not an annual event, but it gained popularity over the years and eventually became a regular fixture.
  4. Charitable Aspect: In 1962, the game took on a charitable dimension, with the proceeds going to various causes. The charity aspect of the game has continued to be a significant part of the event.
  5. Tradition and Camaraderie: The game has become a cherished tradition, with members of Congress putting aside their political differences to play together on the baseball field. It is an opportunity for friendly competition and collaboration.
  6. Location: The game is typically held at Nationals Park, the home stadium of the Washington Nationals, a Major League Baseball team based in Washington, D.C.
  7. Charities Benefited: Over the years, the Congressional Baseball Game has supported various charitable organizations. The charities often focus on issues such as youth and community development.
  8. Incident in 2017: The game gained national attention in 2017 when a shooting occurred during a practice session for the game. Several people, including Congressman Steve Scalise, were injured in the incident. Despite the tragedy, the game went on as scheduled, emphasizing the spirit of unity and resilience.

The Congressional Baseball Game has become an enduring tradition, providing a platform for members of Congress to come together outside the political arena and engage in a friendly sporting event.