When Illinois man and Bernie Sanders supporter James Hodgkinson opened fire on a group of GOP members of Congress practicing for a Republican-Democrat charity baseball game in Virginia last Wednesday, it seemed as if the precarious situation with the majority GOP and minority Dem Congress would be on the verge of escalated hostility.

After all, Hodgkinson managed to seriously wound GOP Rep Steve Scalise of Louisiana along with several others before being killed by Capitol Police. But while President Donald Trump and other officials did vent over the matter on both mass and social media, the Hill itself managed to pull off a show of bipartisan camaraderie by going ahead with their annual Congressional Baseball Game.

Team Democrat won it, but that was not the point.

Game hyped by incident

The Congressional baseball game has been routinely played for charity between teams composed of Republican and Democrat representatives since 1909. While interest in the event has been consistently significant, after the attack by James Hodgkinson on the GOP team practice on June 14, the general public interest for the game underwent a dramatic spike. This perhaps can be attributed to a remarkable gesture of solidarity between the two major parties especially in support of the currently hospitalized Congressman Steve Scalise.

For the 2017 game, which was directed to proceed on Thursday, June 15 after all in spite of the incident, a record number of tickets – 24,959 – were sold. This contributed to the overall $1 million over that has been raised by Congressional Sports for Charity, double the amount raised for last year’s game.

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The resulting match-up saw Team Dems walloping Team GOP 11 runs to 2, but when Rep. Mike Doyle of Pennsylvania, the Democrat team manager, was awarded the championship trophy, he instead called on his Republican counterpart Rep. Joe Barton of Texas to jointly hold it with him, before giving the trophy to Team GOP as a gift to put in Scalise’s office.

On ‘Team Scalise’

Unity was the watchword that day on the Congressional baseball game; that and making symbolic gestures of resilience in the aftermath of the tragedy. Capitol Police agent David Bailey, wounded in the gun battle with James Hodgkinson, was called upon to throw the ceremonial first pitch while on crutches. The crowd applauded him. Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi summed up what she feels is the common sentiment by Capitol Hill, in that outside of their party affiliation the Representatives were all part of “Team Scalise.”

President Donald Trump, who had visited [VIDEO] Steve Scalise in the hospital, also sent a video message played before the Congressional baseball game got underway. "By playing tonight, you are showing the world that we will not be intimidated by threats, acts of violence, or assaults on our democracy," he said in the recorded statement. "The game will go on."