The congressional game, which dates to 1909 and is a summertime tradition on Capitol Hill, is a rare example of bipartisanship in an increasingly polarized Washington.
The shooting occurred at a popular park and baseball complex in Alexandria, Virginia, across the Potomac River from Washington, where Republican lawmakers and others were gathered for a morning practice about 7 a.m.
A Democrat ally of Steve Scalise asked for better protection for himself and his fellow lawmakers a week before the House of Representatives Majority Whip was left fighting for his life after Wednesday's shooting at a Congressional baseball practice.
Most fans were in the correct mood, however, chanting U-S-A and giving a loud standing ovation to Capitol Police Special Agent David Bailey, who along with two other special agents at the field Wednesday were credited with saving the lives of dozens of lawmakers and staffers.
Republicans and Democrats joined in friendly rivalry Thursday at their annual Congressional Baseball game, all counting themselves as members of Team Scalise in honor of their grievously wounded colleague.
This year's congressional charity baseball game is proceeding after a rifle-wielding critic of President Donald Trump opened fire June 14, 2017 on United States lawmakers practicing for the charity event, seriously wounding a top Republican congressman and three others before he was killed by police.
"This game is always an important moment for both parties to come together... but as you all know tonight's game has taken on a much deeper level of meaning beyond anything we would have thought", Trump said in his recorded message.
The game must go on. Trump's daughter Ivanka was spotted at the game near Democratic Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. Trump advisers Gary Cohn and Kellyanne Conway spoke to Democrats in their dugout.
Ticket sales picked up after Wednesday's shooting, eventually setting an attendance record, the organizers said, as attendees such as Alexander Hilten, 16, of Arlington, Virginia, chose to come to the game for the first time.
Ivanka Trump, joined by Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and her two eldest children Arabella and Joseph Kushner, presented a $50,000 check from "Friends in the Trump Administration" to "Congressional Sports for Charity".
To put the "20,000" figure into context, that number is higher than the average ticket sales of a Tampa Bay Rays or Oakland Athletics home game, and is about the same as a Miami Marlins game.
Scalise underwent a third procedure and second surgery for his gunshot wound Thursday. Due to its popularity, the site says, the game became a fundraiser for charity.
"I hope he's in good enough shape to watch, because he'll certainly feel good about what he sees", Flake said. "It's a long road for him".
"I'll miss the banter with him, back and forth", Richmond said.
Richmond said he assumes he will be Thursday night's starting pitcher for the Democrats, and the former college baseball player is likely to make Democrats the favorite tonight.