What is the congressional baseball game?

Democratic manager Rep. Martin Sabo of Minnesota, center, jokes with his team before the start of the 43rd annual Roll Call Congressional Baseball Game at Prince George's Stadium Thursday, July 8, 2004, in Bowie, Md. (AP Photo/Matthew S. Gunby)
Democratic manager Rep. Martin Sabo of Minnesota, center, jokes with his team before the start of the 43rd annual Roll Call Congressional Baseball Game at Prince George's Stadium Thursday, July 8, 2004, in Bowie, Md. (AP Photo/Matthew S. Gunby)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Congressional Baseball Game for Charity has been played off and on since it started in 1909.

The match up allows Democrats and Republicans to settle the score on the diamond instead of inside the capitol. It puts ideological opponents on a literal playing field – something congressmen say helps forge cross-aisle friendships. It also serves as a charity fundraiser which, CNN reports, has raised upwards of $600,000 in recent years.

This year’s game was scheduled to be played Thursday night at Nationals Park, home of Major League Baseball’s Washington Nationals. Tickets range from $10 – $15.

U.S. Rep. Roger Williams (R.) coaches the Republican baseball team ahead of the annual Congressional Baseball Game on June 22, 2016. Texas Tribune/Abby Livingston

The teams are made up of both senators and representatives who wear jerseys from teams in their home districts for the friendly competition. The Democrat team features a lone Texan, Rep. Marc Veasey, who represents the Metroplex.

The Republican roster features four Texans:

  • Roger Williams who represents part of Austin and the Hill Country
  • Mike Conaway who represents parts of the far-northern Hill Country
  • Kevin Brady who represents the Houston area
  • Joe Barton who represents parts of the Metroplex

Williams is the GOP team’s coach. He played baseball at Texas Christian University where he earned all Southwest Conference honors before moving on to play a stent in the Atlanta Braves’ farm system. An injury ended his professional baseball career and he returned to TCU to coach.

Rep. Brian Baird, D-Wash., makes a late tag as Rep. Zach Wamp, R-Tenn. slides safely into second during the second inning of the 43rd annual Roll Call Congressional Baseball Game at Prince George’s Stadium Thursday, July 8, 2004, in Bowie, Md. (AP Photo/Matthew S. Gunby)

Occasionally the game has been canceled due to world events such as the Great Depression and World War II. It has also gotten in the way of legislative business prompting it to be canceled through the years.

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