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C-SPAN Gets Assist on Congressional Baseball Game

C-SPAN has confirmed it will be carrying Thursday's congressional baseball game from Nationals Park starting at 7 p.m., with an assist from Major League Baseball.

C-SPAN actually covered the game for a couple of years—1982 and 83—but that was when it was in a park in Arlington, Va., rather than in a full-sized MLB stadium.

It has over the years shown some of the sights and sounds surrounding a game as a part of its regular coverage of Hill doings, said a C-SPAN spokesperson, including when the winners’ trophy is brandished, the pre-game teasing and comradery. In addition, both teams have come on Washington Journal to talk about the game, which is annually a chance to drop the gloves (boxing) and don the gloves (baseball).

Why the hiatus between the early 80s coverage and now, besides the move to a new stadium? There is not a lot of public policy in the game, and C-SPAN's skilled camerafolk are not trained as sports videographers.

But given the increased importance of the game in the wake of the shooting of House majority whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) and others at a Republican practice for the game—and the pledge by both sides that the game would go on as a show of solidarity—C-SPAN decided it made sense to take itself out to the ball game once again.

In a moment of coverage unity to match the political comity, Major League Baseball—whose cameras are designed to cover sports and not legislators' faces at a distance of eight feet or so—is making a feed available to C-SPAN, according to the public affairs net. Audio will be provided by Federal News Radio play-by-play, which will overlay the MLB video.

C-SPAN spokesman Peter Kiley said it was "terrific" of MLB to step in and help out.

Republican team coach Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas), chairman emeritus of the House Energy & Commerce Committee, had signaled that C-SPAN would be covering the event, which is looking to raise north of a half-million dollars for charity.