Former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords will make a rare appearance in Washington to throw out the first pitch at the Congressional Women’s Softball Game Wednesday evening.
The annual match brings Republicans and Democrats onto one team to take on the women of the press who cover them day in and day out, and raises money for breast cancer research. Giffords was a member of the lawmakers’ team before she retired from politics after being severely injured in the 2011 Tucson shooting that took six lives.
“As a proud alum of the first-ever Congressional Women’s Softball Game, I’m honored to have the privilege of throwing out the first pitch tonight,” Giffords said of the event. “Every year, this game is a shining example of how women leaders in Congress – Republicans and Democrats – can come together to take on the women of the Washington press corps and, most importantly, raise funds and awareness for young women with breast cancer.”
She added, “But I still plan to set the tone for the Members’ team by delivering some high heat. I think I can confidently speak for all current and former female Members of Congress when I say “Beat the Bad News Babes!”
Two of her close friends from Washington will be by her side Wednesday. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) will walk her onto the field and Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (D-FL) will catch.
“I was thrilled when Gabby agreed to throw out the first pitch at the 6th annual Congressional Women’s Softball Game,” Wasserman-Schultz said. “I have played a lot of catch in my years of playing softball, but catching Gabby’s first pitch will be the best snag ever!”
The lawmaker’s team has a bipartisan roster, and is captained equally by red and blue, with Wasserman-Schultz and Gillibrand at the helm with Republicans Rep. Shelley Moore Capito and Sen. Kelly Ayotte.
Giffords’ visits to Capitol Hill typical inspire bipartisan support, even if not agreement. Her first return to the House floor in August 2011, where she cast a vote to raise the debt ceiling, drew a standing ovation from her colleagues.
Andrea Mitchell and Frank Thorp contributed to this report.