One big part of Major League Baseball's annual All-Star festivities is the All-Star Celebrity Softball Game, featuring some of the biggest stars in pop culture and baseball legends teaming up for bragging rights.
This year's game promises to be a memorable affair, with stars such as Jamie Foxx and Terry Crews set to lace up their cleats alongside Hall of Famers such as Andre Dawson and Rickey Henderson. The game will be taped after Sunday's MLB Futures Game but air Monday night on ESPN after the Home Run Derby.
In anticipation of the star-studded game at Petco Park in San Diego, California, here's the official roster of players participating and viewing information.
|2016 MLB Celebrity Softball Game Roster|
|Andy Cohen||TV Host|
|Drew Brees||New Orleans Saints QB|
|Jennie Finch||Softball Olympic Gold Medalist|
|Kyle Mooney||'Saturday Night Live' Cast Member|
|Damari Lewis||'Sports Illustrated' Model|
|Rickey Henderson||Baseball Hall of Famer|
|Andre Dawson||Baseball Hall of Famer|
|Fred Lynn||9x MLB All-Star|
|David Wells||3x MLB All-Star|
|Sterling K. Brown||Actor|
|Billy Bean||MLB Vice President of Social Responsibility and Inclusion|
|Curtis Pride||MLB Ambassador for Inclusion|
|Nina Agdal||'Sports Illustrated' Model|
|Landon Donovan||All-time Leading Goal Scorer in US Men's Soccer History|
|Vladimir Guerrero||9x MLB All-Star|
|Trevor Hoffman||7x MLB All-Star|
|Rollie Fingers||Baseball Hall of Famer|
|Ozzie Smith||Baseball Hall of Famer|
|Tim Raines||7x MLB All-Star|
|Martin Diaz||Wounded Warrior Softball Team|
|Chris Gary||Wounded Warrior Softball Team|
|2016 Celebrity Softball Game Schedule|
|Broadcast Date||Broadcast Time (ET)||Location||Network|
|Monday, July 11||Approx. 10 p.m.||Petco Park (San Diego, California)||ESPN|
There is no shortage of options for the potential MVP of the All-Star Celebrity Softball Game. The list of baseball legends playing in the game is a good place to start looking, with Henderson being a strong candidate because no one likes the spotlight more.
Henderson is no stranger to this game, with this being his sixth trip. Even at 57 years old, he probably still believes he would be the best leadoff hitter in MLB if a team would sign him.
However, looking at the list of non-baseball players in the game, it's more fun to think about what they are capable of doing.
For instance, Mark-Paul Gosselaar is going to don a uniform. His most famous role is Zack Morris from Saved by the Bell, with his gimmick on the show being that he could stop time by saying "timeout" and putting his hands together to make a "T."
Assuming Saved by the Bell was a documentary masquerading as a television show—which I have convinced myself it is—all Gosselaar has to do whenever he puts the ball in play is stop everyone on the field from moving, allowing him to circle the bases at will.
That's probably asking too much, so Gosselaar moves down the list of MVP candidates. Instead, let's show some love to a grizzled veteran like J.K. Simmons.
Aside from Crews, there won't be anyone showing up in San Diego in better physical condition than Simmons, as this photo that retired U.S. marine Aaron Williamson posted on Instagram shows:
Let's remember that Simmons is 61 years old, so there's nothing the man can't do. He's also the most intimidating person on the planet, as anyone who saw his Oscar-winning performance in Whiplash can attest to.
Yet I prefer to look off the board for an MVP candidate, which leads me to Tyler Hoechlin. The 28-year-old actor is not a household name, but his baseball credentials are as good as those of anyone else in the game who didn't play in the big leagues.
Hoechlin played college baseball at Arizona State and UC Irvine, appearing in 32 games with UC Irvine in 2008 and hitting .250 with three extra-base hits.
In addition to his on-field exploits, Hoechlin was one of the stars in Richard Linklater's 2016 film Everybody Wants Some!!
The centerpiece of the movie is a baseball practice before the college semester starts, with Hoechlin looking like a solid hitter when he stepped into the batter's box.
It's not a quality that gets talked about enough in sports movies, but it's easier to take the performance seriously when someone looks like he or she should be on the field. Hoechlin has that rare ability to be both a good actor and an athlete, which is why he will win the game's MVP award.