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Steve Scalise, congressman injured in D.C. shooting, throws first pitch at NLDS

Steve Scalise, the Louisiana congressman who was critically injured when a gunman targeted a congressional baseball practice in June, made an emotional return to the field at Nationals Park on Friday.

Assisted by a walker, Scalise made his way out near the pitching mound where he fired up the crowd with an emotional first pitch prior to the Washington Nationals NLDS opener against the Chicago Cubs.

Political affiliation was put aside as Scalise was greeted with a warm ovation. He earned another loud cheer after putting the ball right down the middle.

Capitol Police officer David Bailey, who was also wounded in the shooting, caught the pitch from Scalise. They were joined by two other victims from the shooting, congressional aide Zachary Barth and lobbyist Matt Mika.

Scalise was on the field with his Republican teammates when shots rang out at Eugene Simpson Stadium Park in Alexandria, Va on June 14. He was shot in the hip and was taken into emergency surgery upon his arrival at the hospital. He has since undergone multiple additional surgeries and endured months of rehabilitation, but appears to be in great spirits despite the circumstances.

Scalise returned to Congress for the first time last week, which was undoubtedly a big milestone in his recovery. Returning to the field at Nationals Park, where the charity driven Congressional Baseball Game has been played every year since it opened in 2008, had to be every bit as important.

Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana throws out a ceremonial first pitch before Game 1 of the NLDS in Washington. (AP)

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