Heard on the Hill

Scalise Warmly Received at Democrats’ Baseball Practice

Republican whip played catch with Donnelly and walked and talked with friend Richmond

Democratic Rep. Cedric L. Richmond, left, and House Majority Whip Steve Scalise are close friends, and both represent Louisiana. (Bian Elkhatib/CQ Roll Call)

Democrats practicing for the annual Congressional Baseball Game didn’t seem to have any issue with a “spy” roaming around the field Thursday.

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise visited the opposing team’s practice and was warmly received.

Sporting his New Orleans jersey with “Whip” on the back, Scalise played catch with Sen. Joe Donnelly of Indiana. Rep. Bill Pascrell Jr. of New Jersey also chatted with him.

Then his good friend Cedric L. Richmond, pitcher for the Democrats, arrived at practice, and the two were inseparable from that point on, walking around the field together.

Watch: Scalise Touches Base With Democrats at Congressional Baseball Practice

“I think they sent him as a spy. They just really wanted to see how our team looked and if we were throwing and catching and hitting the ball,” Richmond joked. “We didn’t throw, we didn’t catch and we didn’t hit it fairly well while we were here.”

“It was good to see him back,” Richmond added. “It’s almost a year [since Scalise was wounded in a shooting the day before last year’s game], but to see the progress he’s made was really good.”

The other Democrats on the team were thrilled to see him, and while many of them also joked about his spying on their team, they commented on how fit he looked.

“It’s great to see him,” Donnelly said. “You know, we’re all brothers and sisters. We all try to watch each other’s back. And I can tell you we were brokenhearted last year when we heard it, and so to see him in such good shape really puts a smile on everybody’s face.”

Scalise was at the Republican team’s practice on Wednesday, and his throwing appeared to be back to normal. He used a crutch on his left side to support himself while he played catch with teammates.

The Democrats, who won last year, will take on the Republicans at Nationals Park on June 14. Scalise has said he hopes to play in the game.

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