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Once again, Congressional Baseball Game brings bi-partisanship to D.C.

Once again, Congressional Baseball Game brings bi-partisanship to D.C.

WASHINGTON – There’s one day a year where members of Congress put down their pens, hang up their ties and travel a mile south of Capitol Hill to pick up a bat and a glove. No, it is not debate night, rather the annual Congressional Baseball Game between Republicans and Democrats.

A June staple for politicians and government employees alike, the game represents rare bi-partisan cooperation in Washington D.C. In the event, which has taken place nearly every year since 1909 and has been at Nationals Park since 2008, Republican Congress members take on Democratic Congress members in a once-a-year celebration and raise money for charity.

In the 2019 edition the Republicans were prim and proper, all wearing the same red-and-white uniforms––red shirts with white numbers and white pants––to match their party’s colors. In the opposite dugout, the Democrats all paid homage to their local communities. Each wore a unique jersey from a semi-professional baseball team in or near their district.

Like in the Capitol, those donning red sat on the right of home plate and those sporting blue were on the left, fans and players alike. Although it was billed as bi-partisan, the cheers were far from it, as was the final score of the ball game. The Democrats ran away with it for the third year in a row 14-7, tying the all-time record between the two parties.

Each top halves of innings saw the right side of the park roar and the bottom half witnessed several waves from blue flags and celebratory whoops.

There was one time the cheers were unified across Nationals Park. When Steve Scalise (R-La.) stepped into the batter’s box to lead off the ball game the crowd collectively rose for a standing ovation.

Scalise, who was shot two years ago at a practice for the 2017 event, has become the focus of the game for the past two years. In 2018 he made an emotional return to the field in the midst of his recovery and was able to record an early out before being replaced on the field.

This year the right-handed batter proudly started the game off swinging on a dropped strike three. A runner playing in his spot made it to first before the throw.

“I’ve come a long way since last year. I could barely move, I literally had no lateral movement,” Scalise said to a pool of reporters pregame. “I’m here to help win the game; hopefully they don’t need me to be a pinch-runner. That probably wouldn’t be a good sign.”

Sending a teammate to first base allowed the Republicans to start the game off with three runs in the first frame. It was the only lead the red-wearing team would have.

And in an uncommon fashion, all members of Congress were able to leave a joint session feeling accomplished. No matter the result, together they raised $1.3 million for local charities. Fathers and mothers were able to play games of catch on a baseball diamond. Any frustrations from prior weeks in the House were able to be safely displayed in an appropriate manner.

But like Republican Andy Biggs (Az.) said, it is a “one-game season,” and despite a spirited sixth inning comeback attempt, this season was won by the Democrats.

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Gerardo Parra 'overwhelmed' by 'Baby Shark' tribute on Nationals World Series ring

Gerardo Parra 'overwhelmed' by 'Baby Shark' tribute on Nationals World Series ring

The Nationals' 2019 World Series rings managed to capture just about every aspect of the team's unforgettable run to their first-ever championship. 

Included on the inside of the ring was a special tribute to "Baby Shark," which of course was Gerardo Parra's walkup song and eventually became the anthem for Washington's postseason run. Parra saw the design and posted a heartfelt message on Instagram thanking the organization for honoring him. 

"I’m completely overwhelmed about the honor the Washington Nationals organization gave me in our World Champions ring we earned last season," Parra wrote. "I can not say thanks enough to the organization and, of course, our fans, because you were the ones that made the Baby Shark song our anthem. I just feel really blessed and I want to say that I will be forever grateful for being a part of the Washington Nationals history!"

Now Parra's World Series ring matches his "Baby Shark" tattoo he got shortly after the Nats won the title. He may have only been in Washington for a year, but he left an everlasting mark on the franchise and its fans 

Parra unfortunately won't play in the majors in 2020 after signing a one-year, $2.5 million contract with a $3 million vesting option for 2021. 

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Ever Wonder: Why does Max Scherzer have different colored eyes?

Ever Wonder: Why does Max Scherzer have different colored eyes?

When Max Scherzer is in the zone on the mound, his stare into the batter's box is like none other. The intensity and fire in his eyes send a message to the hitter that he is about to get everything the ace has left in the tank.

A closer look will show something else about his glare that's even more unique: Scherzer's eyes are two different colors. His left is brown, while his right is blue.

Though it is an uncommon condition, Scherzer is not alone. Known as Heterochromia Iridis, 1 in about every 500 people have two different colored eyes. That includes celebrities such as Christopher Walken and Jane Seymour.

For the Nationals right-hander it is something that has been a part of him from a young age. Growing up, he would draw pictures of animals that had the same type of eyes as him, seeing no shame but rather pride in his condition. That mentality is something Scherzer has carried throughout his journey in baseball.

“I've always celebrated it. Whether you like it or not, that’s who I am," Scherzer said. “I got one blue and one brown, there’s nothing I can do about it.”

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As he's risen to the top of Major League Baseball, Scherzer isn't the only one celebrating his unique eyes. The brown and blue colors have become part of Mad Max's brand. They're prominently featured in his bobbleheads and are displayed throughout the scoreboards of Nationals Park following each of his many strikeouts. The three-time Cy Young winner has also adopted dogs with Heterochromia Iridis.

There are a lot of special things about Washington's ace, and his eyes are part of it. Yet when he locks in on another strikeout victim on the mound, the mixed colors make no difference in how he carries himself. He's thrived all his life with Heterochromia Iridis and will continue to do so in the future.

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