MLB Celebrity Softball Game 2014: Complete Roster and Preview for All-Star Event

Alex Ballentine@Ballentine_AlexFeatured ColumnistJuly 13, 2014

ST. LOUIS - JULY 12: Rapper Nelly throws during the Taco Bell All-Star Legends & Celebrity Softball Game at Busch Stadium on July 12, 2009 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

Of all the festivities involved in the MLB All-Star break, the celebrity softball game stands out as the most relatable tradition.

After all, the average fan can't smash 450-foot dingers with regularity or even so much as sniff the major leagues, let alone the All-Star game. Nearly everyone has taken a few swings in a friendly softball game, though.

The tradition of the celebrity softball game continues with the 2014 edition of the game on Sunday, July 14. Here's a look at how you can catch the fun event along with the complete list of the participants and a preview of what to watch for.

Where: Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota

When: Monday, June 14 at 10 p.m. ET

Watch: ESPN

2014 MLB Celebrity Softball Game Roster
Andy CohenReality TV Producer
Andre DawsonMLB Hall of Famer
James DentonActor
Chris DistefanoHost of MTV's "Off The Bat"
Jennie FinchOlympic Gold Medalist
Rollie FingersMLB Hall of Famer
Dwight GoodenFormer MLB Pitcher
Rickey HendersonMLB Hall of Famer
Melanie IglesiasActress/Model
Fat JoeRapper
Kevin LoveTimberwolves Power Forward
Fred LynnFormer MLB All-Star
Charlie McDermottActor
Maya MooreMinnesota Lynx Forward
Jack MorrisFormer MLB Pitcher
Dylan O'BrienActor
Zach PariseMinnesota Wild Left Winger
Adrian PetersonMinnesota Vikings Running Back
Mike PiazzaFormer MLB Catcher
Rob RiggleActor
Ozzie SmithMLB Hall of Famer
John SmoltzFormer MLB Pitcher
Jim ThomeFormer MLB First Baseman
Andrew ZimmernChef/Reality TV Star

Who Will Take Home MVP Honors?

October 3, 2012; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Baltimore Orioles designated hitter Jim Thome (left) smiles at center fielder Adam Jones (10) prior to the game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Obviously the atmosphere for this game is best described as casual, but it's always interesting to see who emerges as the standout. Will it be an MLB legend like Mike Piazza or Jim Thome? (Probably) An athlete from another sport such as Adrian Peterson? (Maybe) Or someone unexpected like rapper Fat Joe? (No.)

Rapper Nelly took home co-MVP honors in 2009 with a performance that included a two-run home run and some excellent plays in the field. 

Looking at the athletes who have made their name in other sports it's hard to deny that Peterson is a likely candidate. His super-human athleticism makes him the most talented running back in the NFL and some of those skills should be transferable to the diamond. 

However, the smart money is on Thome to take home the honors. After all the slugger is just two years removed from being an active major leaguer. His powerful swing seems like a perfect fit for the softball game, too. 

Then of course there's Jennie Finch. The softball dynamo is right at home on the softball field and will be playing in her fifth career celebrity game. 

How Will Fans React to Kevin Love?

OAKLAND, CA - APRIL 14: Kevin Love #42 of the Minnesota Timberwolves during a game against the Golden State Warriors on April 14, 2014 at Oracle Arena in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or
Rocky Widner/Getty Images

With the All-Star game in Minneapolis, the MLB made sure it stacked the roster with local athletes to drive up interest in the game. 

It's not guaranteed that everyone on the roster will have a hero's welcome, though. Kevin Love has made his name by playing for the Timberwolves in his first six seasons in the association, but it looks like those days could be coming to an end sooner rather than later. 

The star forward has been the center of trade speculation all summer and the game will actually be played on the 13th—just two days after Marc Stein of ESPN reported Love would commit to the Cleveland Cavaliers long-term if traded there:

Kathy Willens/Associated Press

Love has yet to make it to the playoffs in his six years with the T-Wolves. So it's easy to see why he's frustrated, but fans often value loyalty over everything. With so many Minnesota staples involved in the festivities, the fan reaction to Love remains intriguing. 

Who Will Emerge as a Surprise Star?

The last edition of the celebrity softball game produced a surprising co-MVP as actor Kevin James took home the honors in the National League team's victory. The 5'8" "King of Queens" star surprised viewers by legging out a double and making some plays defensively. 

James won't return to the game this year. So which celebrity will surprise viewers on Sunday?

At 6'3" and just 44 years old, actor/comedian Rob Riggle could be a sleeper candidate. 

Then again, maybe it will be Fat Joe. Probably not, though.