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Capitol Hill is taking over Nationals Park. On Thursday, July 14, Democrats and Republicans in the House and Senate will take the field for the Congressional Baseball Game to raise money for the Washington Literacy Council and the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Washington.
The tradition of the Congressional Baseball Game dates back to 1909, although it was discontinued through 1961. It was revived in 1962 and has been played annually ever since. Thursday’s game marks the 50th edition of the “modern game.”
“The Washington Nationals are proud to host the annual Congressional Baseball Game at Nationals Park,” said Nationals Principal Owner Robert K. Tanenbaum. “For generations, baseball has been uniting Americans and this event is one more example of that long standing tradition.”
As the home of the national pastime in the Nation’s Capital, Nationals Park has served as the venue for this annual tradition since 2008. Games have also previously been played at Griffith Stadium, RFK Stadium and Memorial Stadium in Baltimore.
Members of Congress will play seven innings in a best of five game series for the championship trophy. The Democrats currently lead the series 2-0, while Republicans lead the overall series 38-34-1.
Founded by Representative John Tener of Pennsylvania, the Congressional Baseball Game is Washington’s version of the Midsummer Classic. The game often comes with plenty of fanfare and notable guests. Commissioner Bud Selig has previously attended, as well as Frank Robinson, Brooks Robinson and Frank Howard, among many others. In addition, Nancy Pelosi and John Boehner were both in attendance last year.
This year, Joe Barton (R, TX-6) will lead 40 Republicans against Mike Doyle (D, PA-14) and 21 Democrats. The Democrats are seeking their third win over the Republicans, which would allow them to claim the championship trophy.
Nationals Park’s gates open at 5:30 p.m. with first pitch scheduled for 7 p.m.