AL prevails in fun-filled Celebrity Game
End result just a sidebar as athletes and actors put on a show
SAN FRANCISCO -- The National League squad staged a furious rally in the bottom of the last inning in the All-Star Legends and Celebrity Softball Game on Sunday at AT&T Park, highlighted by home runs from two of the Midsummer Classic host team's former greats.Kevin Mitchell led off with a solo homer, and Robby Thompson bashed a three-run shot later in the frame to turn what looked like an old-fashioned drubbing into a nail-biter. Alas, the final score landed at 13-9 so there was no drama. Oh well. Life is full of little disappointments. And the former big-league stars and celebs gamely played on, providing more than a few funny and memorable moments along the way. "It's so fun!" said actress/MLB clothing goddess Alyssa Milano, who helped emcee the event. "I love this kind of thing." As Milano said this, a balding man in his late 30s, seated behind the NL dugout, called out to the former "Who's The Boss?" child star, better known these days for her work as a witch on "Charmed," and professed his own love. To which Milano responded, "I love you, too!" And that is what these games are all about. Plenty of love, lots of fun, and the occasional long ball to remind you that it's a sporting event.
"It's not the prettiest game you'll ever watch," said Hall of Fame pitcher Rollie Fingers, who picked up the win and hit two homers for the AL. "Usually, the only guys who can play are the former players. The rest of them are just there for kicks."Fingers, by the way, got robbed in the MVP voting. That award went to Bay Area football legend Jerry Rice, who doubled and homered and played some solid defense but should have been eliminated from consideration based on his home run trot. After taking former Giants closer Robb Nen deep to left in the fourth, Rice rounded the bases flapping his arms like his hips were on fire. First, he makes the finals of "Dancing with the Stars," and now this. It's often been said that athletes want to be actors and/or musicians, and musicians and actors want to be athletes. But with the exception of Will Smith, who played a mean Muhammad Ali, and Bernie Williams, who plays a mean guitar, rare is the individual pulls off the double dip with aplomb. That's not to say entertainers don't show flashes of prowess. James Denton of "Desperate Housewives" and celebrity chef Bobby Flay had their game faces on, no doubt. They rounded first hard after soft singles to left, trying to deke the left fielder into a throw, scowling the scowl of a seasoned ballplayer. Denton also showed some power that goes beyond his heartthrob status. Rob Schneider, on the other hand, was among those who let their entertainment skills take center stage. Schneider, the "Saturday Night Live" alum and comic actor, got a big laugh when he chased a pigeon off the field. It was funny for two reasons: The pigeon was almost as big as Schneider, and the pigeon reminded everyone of Rice's trot. And that's what this event was all about: fun on the diamond, with an All-Star backdrop.
Mychael Urban is a national writer for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.