A diverse group of former athletes and famous personalities gathered at Citi Field on Sunday night for the 2013 MLB Legends and Celebrity Softball Game. The friendly banter, highlights, heart-warming moments and Twitter reaction resonate much more than the final score (NL 8, AL 5).
Hall of Famers Andre Dawson, Rollie Fingers, Rickey Henderson and Ozzie Smith all participated, as did probable future inductees like Mike Piazza and Frank Thomas. Actors/comedians Kevin James and George Lopez, Mallory Hagan (Miss America 2013), Olympic gold medalist Jennie Finch and Wounded Warrior Amputee softball player Josh Wege also took the field for the ninth edition of the event. Here's the full list of American and National League competitors.
ESPN will air it on Monday following the conclusion of the Home Run Derby.
Thankfully, we don't have to wait until then to relive the entertaining exhibition. Thousands of people filled the stadium and used various forms of social media to share the experience.
Jon Dube of CBS Fantasy Sports snapped a pregame photo of the downsized playing field:
CBS Sports baseball blogger Mike Axisa gives us a better idea of the huge turnout:
Can't believe this many people are here for the celebrity softball game. pic.twitter.com/IrG4EWz0VM— Mike Axisa (@mikeaxisa) July 14, 2013
New York Mets fan Alex Peters provides an even broader perspective:
This footage from MLB.com's Andrew Harts shows that Mets legend Mike Piazza was warmly received:
Once the game got underway, fans in attendance made the rest of us jealous by raving about the National League's Jennie Finch. She was extremely successful as a star pitcher on the USA national softball team during the 2000s:
Oh my goodness. Jenny finch is just as good looking in person as she is on TV. #CelebritySoftball— Mike Czenszak (@CzenSation113) July 14, 2013
Jenny Finch will never disappoint in the celebrity softball game😍— Jeff Sam (@JeffSam13) July 14, 2013
On this big stage, however, she made a few mistakes over the middle of the plate:
Jennie finch allows back 2 back homers in the celebrity softball game— connor tustin (@TUSTdoit) July 14, 2013
The Senior Circuit would answer in dramatic fashion, according to Andrew Harts:
Ultimately, war veteran Josh Wege stole the show. Playing on two prosthetic legs, he accomplished more in a few innings than many of us will in our entire athletic careers.
Ted Berg of USA Today was thoroughly impressed:
Josh Wege, a veteran playing with two prosthetic legs, plates Andre Dawson with a homer. He's way, way better at softball than Ashanti.— Ted Berg (@OGTedBerg) July 14, 2013
Others were also in awe:
Josh Wege hero to all and a great softball player. Thank you for your service NL up 6-5 #CelebSoftBall— Josh Mazer (@joshmaz97) July 14, 2013
War vet Josh Wege, who has two prosthetic legs, just hit a long 2-R HR to score Andre Dawson. That was pretty cool.— Jerry Beach (@defiantlydutch) July 14, 2013
Wonded Warrior Josh Wege hits one out to left to a big ovation. Wege came to play. Great to see. #CelebSoftball— Cliff Corcoran (@CliffCorcoran) July 14, 2013
Wege's heroics put the NL team ahead for good. In a role reversal, Bernie Williams popped up to Piazza to end the game, tweets Andrew Schwartz:
Piazza catches Bernie's popup to end the celebrity softball game. Not as good as Bernie catching Piazza's fly ball to end the World Series.— Andrew Schwartz (@AHSchwartz) July 14, 2013
For the full play-by-play account, see David Cancel:
Ely Sussman covers all things baseball-related for Bleacher Report, from trade rumors and bold predictions to historical lists and exclusive interviews. He's on Twitter and in need of more sexy followers like you.