Monday, June 26, 2006

Hollywood Stars Game at Dodger Stadium

Last night was the 48th Annual Hollywood Stars softball game at Dodger Stadium. It was also the first game I've been to this season and the first time I've been to the remodeled stadium (it's beautiful)
Jonny and Jen played in it. Jonny has been doing this for at least a decade, and Jen kind of just hung out with us on the warning track next to third base. Jonny actually won MVP for getting two "out of the park" home runs and doing better fielding than anyone else out there in his shortstop position. His team won 10-3.
from the Dodgers front page today, Jonny and Jen with Nomar and his wife, Mia Hamm

Here's an article from the Major League Baseball official website

LOS ANGELES -- Think about a company softball game, except the company is the entertainment industry and some very well-known names are taking part. Well, that's what happened at Dodger Stadium on Saturday at the 48th annual Hollywood Stars game.

The annual event started before the Dodgers came to Los Angeles in 1958. Celebrities such as Frank Sinatra and Nat King Cole would take part in a yearly baseball game at the old Gilmore Field on Fairfax Avenue in Los Angeles, home of the original Hollywood Stars of the old Pacific Coast League. The celebrities moved the game to the Los Angeles Coliseum when the Dodgers came to town and then to Dodger Stadium when it opened its doors in 1962.

Over the years some of the biggest names in entertainment -- including Steve Martin, Robin Williams, Kevin Costner, Billy Crystal, Walter Matthau, Keanu Reeves, Jack Lemmon, Dean Martin and many others -- have lived out their fantasy of playing on a big-league field.

"I thought it was still a hardball game until I got here today; it's now softball," said actor Corbin Bernsen, who starred in the "Major League" films and is currently on the soap opera "General Hospital."

"Back in the original days it was hardball and it was serious hardball with guys like Billy Crystal and Tony Danza really going at it. But I remember a few years ago, when I was on 'L.A. Law' and I played in the game and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar played first base and they came out with a 6-foot bat for him to use and you knew they weren't taking this game as seriously as they used to."

In 2004, the Dodgers switched the game from baseball to softball so female celebrities could play instead of serving as "bat girls" as they had previously.

"It's just fun to be out here and meet new people and everyone is just talking about having fun," said soccer legend Mia Hamm, who is also married to Dodgers first baseman Nomar Garciaparra. "People who have played in this game before have told me how much fun it is. I think we all just want to out there, have some fun, not make a fool of ourselves and not get hurt."

Hamm held her own, lining out to left in the first inning. Hamm then roped a clean single to left in the third and was called out at first base on a controversial call at first base by umpire Charley Steiner that ended the game. Replays would later show she was safe, but to no avail.

There are plenty of actors and athletes taking part, but politicians get into the act, too. In this year's game, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa took part and had a great time.

"I'm a better politician who wants to be a ballplayer," said Villaraigosa, who is in his first term as mayor. "I didn't play much baseball growing up, I mainly played football and ran track, so I may struggle out there a little."

The mayor got on base in the first inning and seemed to enjoy just being on the field.

Other celebrities, like the mayor, just loved taking part.

"As a baseball fan you can't beat being on a big-league field," said James Denton, one of the stars of the ABC drama "Desperate Housewives."

"It's just great being at Dodger Stadium; coming out here and taking a few cuts. It's softball, which is obviously a whole different deal, but when they offer you this chance, you don't say no.

"I'm missing the All-Star Game in Pittsburgh this year because we go back to work on July 10th with the show and the game is July 11th, so this may be the only game I may play in this year."

Denton held his own with a clean double to left in the fourth inning.

The game had two award-winning managers -- Cy Young Award winner Bret Saberhagen managing the White Team and Academy Award-winner Lou Gossett Jr. managing the Blue Team.

Paced by two booming home runs off the bat of the game's Most Valuable Player, Jonathan Silverman, the White Team easily beat the Blue Team, 10-3.

No matter what the score was, the game had a happy ending. And what did you expect? This is Hollywood.

LOS ANGELES -- Television and film stars, along with some current and former Dodgers, will be on hand for the 48th annual Hollywood Stars Game. The game will be played Saturday, June 24 at 5:15 p.m. before the Dodgers take on the Pittsburgh Pirates at 7:10 p.m.

Since 2004 when the game was changed to softball from baseball, an auxiliary outfield fence was added to offer greater opportunity for home runs. Fans are also invited to sit on Dodger Stadium's outfield grass and warning track to get a better glimpse of their favorite Hollywood luminaries.

The roster of stars scheduled to appear in the game includes:

James Denton ("Desperate Housewives")
Jonathan Silverman (film and TV)
Jen Finnigan ("Close to Home")
Jimmy Kimmel ("Jimmy Kimmel Live")
Sarah Silverman ("School of Rock")
Matt Gallant (host of "American Inventor")
Brooke Burke (host of CBS's "Rockstar")
Adam Carolla ("The Adam Carolla Show")
Brian White ("Family Stone")
Carlos Mencia ("Mind of Mencia")
Shane Powers ("Survivor Exile Island")
Mario Lopez (film and TV)
Kendra Wilkinson ("Girls Next Door")
James Van Der Beek ("Dawson's Creek")
Michael Clarke Duncan ("Sin City")
Corbin Bernsen ("Psych")
Wolfgang Bodison ("Akeelah and the Bee")
Tony Potts ("Access Hollywood")
Mia Hamm (USA Women's Soccer)
Antonio Villaraigosa (Mayor of Los Angeles)
Michael Rosenbaum ("Smallville")
Scott Patterson ("Gilmore Girls")
Larry Joe Campbell ("According to Jim")
Dave Annable ("Brothers and Sisters")
Louis Gossett Jr. - coach (film and TV)
Tony Todd ("Little Big League")
Ron Cey (former Dodger)
Bret Saberhagen (former Cy Young Award Winner)

Nico from Latino 96.3 will emcee the event. The Dodger Stadium parking lot and turnstiles will open early for the event at 4:45 p.m.

Equipment for the game will be provided by Rawlings, Mizuno and Majestic. Proceeds from the auction of autographed, game-worn player uniforms and memorabilia will benefit the Dodgers Dream Foundation.

I should mention that Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa got booed at the stadium. Having been out of town for quite a while and not knowing what the Mayor or even the Governator are up to, but I don't think Dodger fans are going to be voting for the incumbent the next time around. As for the catcher who tagged-out the heroic mayor who tried to steal home, I fear that three summons for Jury Duty may be coming his way soon.

"Last year I went deep off Odalis Perez, but then again, who hasn't? Just kidding, Odalis, it was a joke." --Jonny on the local TV news, one of the funniest things I have ever heard

We went up to a luxury box for the Dodgers vs Pittsburg Pirates game that followed, a game that ended as a Dodgers victory, a 7-0 shutout. In there I chatted it up with Playboy bunnies and taught Carlos Mencia's kids to play 8-ball and then got pranked by Bob the former warm-up guy for The Single Guy. Dodgers are 39-35, 1st Place in NL West and are about to leave the San Diego Padres in the dust 1 game behind assuming that the Dodgers win the game they are currently winning and the Padres lose the game they are currently losing. Seventh inning stretch is over and I now return to the game. Vin Scully\ just talked about last night's celebrity game. Back to Dodgers Baseball...


JTabes said...

namedrop, much? also, carlos mencia was allowed by the state to have children? what is this world coming to?

Matt said...

jtabes? Do people think that's cool? Just kidding, how you doin' buddy?