Republican members of the Congressional baseball team returned to Eugene Simpson Stadium in Alexandria, Virginia, for the first practice since the shooting that stunned the nation last year, critically wounding House Majority Whip Steve Scalise.
Offering catharsis and a rebirth, this was the first time many of the members went to the field since the shooting.
“There were a lot of emotions out here today,” Georgia Rep. Barry Loudermilk said. “We never got to finish the practice that we started.”
Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake added: “It’s a surreal experience. My first time back on the field.”
Tyson Foods lobbyist Matt Mika, a former aide who was wounded last year, was seen on the diamond, prepping the field with a rake before the practice.
Texas Rep. Mike Conaway was the first player on the field, seen jogging in the outfield.
Texas Rep. Roger Williams, a former Atlanta Braves minor league prospect, was seen hitting infield practice.
Scalise was not on hand; he is still recovering from another procedure last week related to his injuries.
He said Wednesday that he was eager to get back on the ball field but still had a ways to go in recovery.
The Louisiana congressman suffered shattered bones and damaged internal organs in the June 2017 shooting. U.S. Capitol Police and other officers killed the gunman, who held grievances against President Donald Trump and the GOP.
Scalise sent along a statement: “Play ball!”
Fox News’ Chad Pergram and The Associated Press contributed to this report.