WASHINGTON D.C. -- For the past six years, U.S. Representative Lou Barletta was a member of the Republican congressional baseball team. He decided last month not to play this year.
Newswatch 16 spoke with the congressman by phone Wednesday morning.
Congressman Barletta was jolted by the shooting in Washington D.C. and wondered what would have happened if he decided to play another year.
The congressman, who was a star baseball player at Hazleton Area High School and Bloomsburg University, loved practicing for the yearly game in the nation's capital where he pitched and played the outfield.
He is also a close friend of Rep. Steve Scalise, the House of Representative's majority whip who was shot during baseball practice.
Congressman Barletta said because Scalise was a member of the House leadership, he was the only one there who had a security detail with him.
'When I saw the news flash on the TV that Steve Scalise was shot, I've literally been in shock since. These are my friends, these are my colleagues. If Steve, who is in leadership was not there, the one member who was shot, this would have been a massacre," said Rep. Barletta.
Congressman Barletta points out that the game brings Republicans and Democrats together to raise more than $500,000 for underprivileged children.
Barletta adds that if he chose to play this year, he would have been playing first base and likely standing next to Congressman Scalise at the time of the shooting.