Canceled: Annual Congressional Baseball Game takes a hit

Next game scheduled for June 9, 2021, at Nationals Park

Rep. Raul Ruiz, D-Calif., warms up before stepping up to the plate during the 58th annual Congressional Baseball Game at Nationals Park on June 26, 2019. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call file photo)
Rep. Raul Ruiz, D-Calif., warms up before stepping up to the plate during the 58th annual Congressional Baseball Game at Nationals Park on June 26, 2019. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call file photo)
Posted July 16, 2020 at 2:37pm

The beloved Congressional Baseball Game for Charity has officially been canceled this year.

The “friendly” bipartisan summer sporting event that pits Republican members of Congress against their Democratic colleagues will be put on hold until 2021 as the D.C. area continues to recover from the coronavirus pandemic.

“This decision was not made lightly,” Congressional Sports for Charity President Ryan Thompson said in a letter. “As we work through the realities of what is and is not possible for in-person events in the world of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is clear to us that our high standards cannot be met while also keeping everyone safe and healthy.”

The Congressional Baseball Game, which dates back to 1909, draws thousands of fans to Nationals Park. Proceeds from the game are distributed to local charities.

The last time there was an interruption in the annual game was from 1959-61, when Speaker Sam Rayburn discontinued it over concerns of injuries to members of Congress.

In 1962, the game was revived when Roll Call newspaper offered to sponsor the game and Speaker John McCormack agreed to bring it back.

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“The year 2020 threw us a wicked curve ball, but you can be sure that we will be swinging for the fences in 2021,” Thompson said in his letter.

Republicans will have to wait another year for the chance to avenge last year’s loss to the Democrats.

The game’s new date is June 9, 2021, at Nationals Park.