Scalise doctor hopes for 'excellent recovery' despite risk

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David Bailey, a Capitol Hill police officer who was part of Mr Scalise's security detail and helped bring down the shooter, was also injured in the incident but had recovered enough to throw the game's ceremonial first pitch.

"The members of Congress, the staff and the volunteers who were out at practice this morning care deeply about the causes they play to benefit", game organizers said in a statement released Wednesday.

"He remains in critical condition, but has improved in the last 24 hours", reads a statement provided Thursday by MedStar Washington Hospital Center, the medical facility now treating Scalise.

Though Scalise was conscious at the scene after he was shot and his office said he talked to his wife before his first surgery, he was in shock by the time he arrived at the hospital, according to Sava.

A few months later, he pointed a military-style rifle at a suburban Washington baseball diamond and opened fire, leaving House Republican Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana in critical condition and injuring four others before he was killed by Capitol police. The commander-in-chief said, "By playing tonight we are showing the world that we will not be intimidated by threats, acts of violence or assaults on our democracy".

Before they took the field, Democrats and Republicans gathered in prayer around second base as fans chanted "USA, USA".

At the end of the introductions for the Republican team, the stadium announcer also boomed the name Steve Scalise, leading to a standing ovation.

Players on both teams wore Louisiana State University hats in support of Scalise, a Republican from Louisiana and LSU alum.

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"I think anybody that ever played baseball, the dream was to play in a major league stadium", Richmond said previous year.

More than $1 million has been raised for Congressional Sports for Charity, and more than 20,000 tickets have been sold for the game, the organizers wrote on Facebook Thursday afternoon.

"There'll be a lot of emotion at this game", Doyle said. Hodgkinson died after being shot by police.

C-SPAN provided coverage, and additional national television, radio and other media outlets tuned in.

Pushing that message of unity were the House leaders Speaker Paul Ryan and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, who told CNN's Jake Tapper on CNN's "Erin Burnett OutFront" that despite party affiliation they were both on "Team Scalise".

"It seems like you are going to have every camera in the country there, even internationally", said Republican starting pitcher Mark Walker of North Carolina.

"The competition is still there, but the energy around the game has just exploded", said Walker. Then, Trump said "Let's play ball!"

"I'll miss the banter with him back and forth", Richmond said of the heckling they usually exchange from opposing dugouts.

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