Although, thankfully, no one was killed, the tragedy completely reshaped our fun little tradition. Heavy security and solemn pregame ceremonies changed how I covered the game this year. A flood of interest in the Congressional Baseball Game suddenly meant lots of people were asking me about my experience covering the game and my research into its history. It was, frankly, a blur of activity that I even had trouble sorting through as I was living it. However, for you, my dear reader, I will attempt to make sense of it all. Here are all the articles and quotes I contributed to coverage of this year's Congressional Baseball Game.
- My statistical preview of the game. As you may know, I keep a totally unnecessary Google spreadsheet of representatives' batting and pitching statistics in the Congressional Baseball Game since 2009. This year, for the first time, I used the stats to preview the game in Roll Call's official game program. The article isn't online yet, but I'll link to it here when it's up.
- My dispatch from covering the game in person. I was originally expecting my recap for The Hardball Times to focus on the baseball game, but it ended up mostly a play-by-play of the pregame ceremonies and the bipartisanship that pervaded Nationals Park.
- My statistical recap of the game. This follow-up to my first Roll Call article looks at who actually racked up the numbers in this year's game.
- The Washington Post walked through the history of the Congressional Baseball Game, from 1909 to today. I'm quoted about the purpose of the game and why it was organized in the first place. The article also comes with some snazzy maps and a timeline of the game's historical results.
- CBS This Morning interviewed me about the history of the game. My national TV debut! A brief overview of how the game was founded, Steve Scalise's gritty play, and why the game is so valuable to members like Linda Sánchez.
- Dave Montero of the Los Angeles Times wrote about baseball's power to unite. I contributed a few quotes, but Dave's writing really drives this beautiful piece. Former Congressional Baseball Game player Marty Russo talks about the thrill of playing on a major-league field, Dave walks through the most important moments when baseball and politics have intersected (such as President Bush's first pitch after 9/11), and baseball is treated as a metaphor for our political system.
- The Los Angeles Times also wrote about how California's eight congressional ballplayers did. Reporter Sarah D. Wire contacted me for the box score from the game; while the official box score isn't released by the game's scorekeepers until weeks later, I shared the play-by-play that I scrawled down on my own personal scorecard.
Last Wednesday's shooting was, without question, the biggest story in the 108-year history of the Congressional Baseball Game. Without the heroism of the three Capitol Police officers stationed at the practice, it could have been the bloodiest assassination incident in American history. Extremely fortunately, it was not that, but instead evolved into a moment of national unity, bringing awareness to a truly good-hearted charity tradition that did not deserve to be sullied in such a way but absolutely deserves the warm embrace it received from the nation on Thursday night. A full 24,959 spectators attended the game, more than double its previous record attendance; over $1.5 million were raised for charity, another record; and six million people (!) watched the game as it was livestreamed on Facebook. Out of a horrible attack, I was thrilled to see some true goodness emerge.