Rob Manfred supports decision to play Congressional Baseball Game

The Congressional Baseball Game has been held at Nationals Park since it opened. (AP Photo)

Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred said he supports the decision to play the Congressional Baseball Game on Thursday. Members of Congress decided to hold the event after Representative Steve Scalise and four others were shot by a gunman while practicing for the game early Wednesday.

Manfred released the following statement Wednesday afternoon:

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to Representative Steve Scalise, Congressional staff, U.S. Capitol Police and all those who were impacted by today’s senseless violence at a baseball field in Alexandria, Virginia.

“Major League Baseball is a proud supporter of the Congressional Baseball Game, a longstanding bipartisan tradition and unifying event that benefits worthy charities.  Both teams have been practicing for weeks in preparation for the game at Nationals Park and we fully support the decision to play the game.  We look forward to a full recovery for each of the victims and hope that tomorrow night’s game can play a constructive role in the healing process.”

The Congressional Baseball Game was first played in 1909, and pits Republicans and Democrats against each other once a year. Since 2006, the Washington Nationals have hosted the game.

The Nationals also released a statement Wednesday saying the organization was “looking forward to hosting” the event.

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Chris Cwik is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at christophercwik@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!