MLB Celebrity Softball Game 2018: Final Roster, TV Schedule and Predictions

Steve Silverman@@profootballboyFeatured ColumnistJuly 15, 2018

Look for Torri Hunter's competitive instincts to come out in the MLB Celebrity Softball Game.
Look for Torri Hunter's competitive instincts to come out in the MLB Celebrity Softball Game.Matt York/Associated Press

The MLB All-Star Game used to be a standalone event decades ago. Major League Baseball changed that when it introduced the Home Run Derby in 1985, and multiple events have been added since then. 

There's little doubt that the MLB powers that be have also observed what the NFL does at the Super Bowl and the NBA does with its All-Star weekend to to give fans a multitude of events that help promote the sport.

The Legends and Celebrity All-Star Softball Game is one of those events. Former Major League players and celebrities will face off in a six-inning game at Nationals Park on Sunday about 30 minutes after the Futures Game comes to a conclusion. First pitch should be at approximately 7:30 p.m. ET.

The ex-players and celebrities will be divided into two teams representing the American and National Leagues. While the game is all about having fun, none of the ex-players or the celebrities want to embarrass themselves.

One example of that is actor-comedian Kevin James, who lashed a double down the left-field line in the 2013 game at Citi Field in New York, and when he got near second base, he dove into the bag as if his next television series depended on it.

Not all the actors are going to put forth the same kind of effort as James, but it would not be a surprise to see some of the ex-players put on a show. Torii Hunter, Tim Raines, Bernie Williams, Cliff Floyd, Steve Finley, Andre Dawson and Carlos Pena are all scheduled to play, and a competitor's instinct may take over.

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In addition to those players, former Olympic softball stars Jennie Finch and Jessica Mendoza seem likely to be the most impressive players on the field. Finch is known for her outstanding pitching, and while she is not likely to start firing hard strikes, she has hit some wicked line drives in past games.

Mendoza, the ESPN analyst on Sunday Night Baseball, was a four-time All-American at Stanford during her college career.

Local sports stars John Wall of the Washington Wizards and Josh Norman of the Washington Redskins are also playing in the softball game. One might think that Wall is likely to put on a superb show because of his remarkable sporting ability, but baseball fans will remember he failed miserably when throwing out the first pitch of a 2011 game at Nationals Park.

Jamie Foxx is the best-known celebrity scheduled to play in the game. If this sounds familiar, it's because Foxx is a regular at both the MLB All-Star softball game and at the NBA's version of the basketball celebrity game.

Foxx loves the spotlight, and that's clearly one of the reasons he loves to show off his sporting prowess. Foxx played football and basketball during his high school career.

Twilight actress Ashley Greene, Orange is the New Black actress Dascha Polanco, Chicago Fire actor Taylor Kinney, Hamilton actor Christopher Jackson, Disney Channel actress Skai Jackson, 13 Reasons Why actor Brandon Larracuente, Brotherly Love actor Quincy Brown, wrestler Mike "The Miz" Mizanin, Bill Nye the Science Guy and HQ Trivia host Scott Rogowsky are the other celebrities set to play in the game.

                

Predictions

Athletes and celebrities will be out there having fun, but look for several players to put on a show that they will be proud of in the hours after the game, if not days.

Hunter may be the best of the former players. He was an All-Star centerfielder, and he played 19 big league seasons before retiring in 2015. Hunter will likely show off his outfielding skills, and we also see him getting a couple hits.

Cliff Floyd was a power hitter during his 17-year career, during which he belted 233 home runs. Look for Floyd to go deep at Nationals Park.

Finch could strike out every batter she faced if she wanted to, but she will not demonstrate her best pitches. She will get a couple hits, however. Mendoza will show off her defensive skills and get a hit.

We don't have much faith in Wall redeeming himself here, so look for Norman to get the best of him in the battle between Washington athletes.

While Foxx has a notable athletic background for an actor, we don't expect him to provide any memorable plays. Rogowsky, the trivia guru, is the rookie here, and he will try to make a positive first impression. Look for him to get two hits and play the role of star in the game.