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Big Slick celebrity softball game always a hit

Rudd, Sudeikis, Riggle, Stonestreet take swings for charity
MLB.com

KANSAS CITY -- Comedian "Weird" Al Yankovic's nickname might better describe his batting stance, a low crouch in which he raises the bat high above his head. In his first at-bat in Friday afternoon's Big Slick Celebrity softball game at Kauffman Stadium, Yankovic struck out while hacking at a pitch. In the game where rules are arbitrary, he was given a few chances before that appearance.

"Playing today brought back some painful memories," Yankovic said. "As you can probably tell from watching, I have no baseball skills."

KANSAS CITY -- Comedian "Weird" Al Yankovic's nickname might better describe his batting stance, a low crouch in which he raises the bat high above his head. In his first at-bat in Friday afternoon's Big Slick Celebrity softball game at Kauffman Stadium, Yankovic struck out while hacking at a pitch. In the game where rules are arbitrary, he was given a few chances before that appearance.

"Playing today brought back some painful memories," Yankovic said. "As you can probably tell from watching, I have no baseball skills."

However, in his second at-bat, the man behind the parody tunes "White and Nerdy," "Eat It" and many others laid down a swinging bunt and beat the throw to first base. He then kept running toward the field level stands, giving high fives along the way. The crowd cheered.

"I'm batting .500, right?" Yankovic said. "If I did that in the Major Leagues, I would be making some serious coin."

Yankovic and over two dozen other celebrities were at the game, which was a silly affair meant to cause a laugh while raising money for Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, one of the nation's top pediatric medical centers.

Tweet from @Royals: Your #BigSlickKC Celebrity Softball champs ������ pic.twitter.com/piLTe0vgkd

What Rob Riggle, Paul Rudd and Jason Sudeikis began eight years ago as a celebrity poker tournament and party to raise money for the non-profit hospital has since raised over $4.5 million.

Children's Mercy Pediatrician-in-Chief Michael Artman said the money has been used to help remodel the hospital's bone marrow transplant unit, provide family spaces and play rooms, purchase an entertainment system for every oncology bed and buy more than $500,000 in advanced early detection equipment.

A bench-clearing 'brawl' occurred during the celebrity softball game

Though the softball game, which included a home run that rolled through a temporary fence in the outfield, a fake fight at third base and a walk-off home run from Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce, was enjoyable for the thousands of fans who arrived early before Friday night's Royals-Blue Jays game, the goal of this game and the rest of the weekend's events is to continue raising money for the hospital.

"It's really good to see people from Kansas City coming back and raising money for a good cause," fan Michaela Weihe said.

Tweet from @Royals: First pitch from some great kids tonight representing our local kids hospital! #BigSlickKC pic.twitter.com/wezLnY79QL

Earlier in the day, four of the five hosts of the weekend-long event -- Eric Stonestreet, David Koechner, Rudd, and Riggle -- visited Children's Mercy. That, they said, is the best part of the weekend. Playing inside a stadium that they grew up going to is just an added bonus. For that reason, Riggle added they'll likely return to Children's Mercy on Saturday morning.

Said Stonestreet, "Raising money for the hospital and raising money for these kids is an honor."

Wilson Alexander is a reporter for MLB.com based in Kansas City.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Kansas City Royals