WASHINGTON -- The All-Star Legends & Celebrity Softball game at Nationals Park on Sunday provided enough entertainment and sightings to satisfy an array of fans, whether they're more into baseball or Hollywood, or both.The pitching early in the game was left up to the experts -- Olympians Jennie Finch and
WASHINGTON -- The All-Star Legends & Celebrity Softball game at Nationals Park on Sunday provided enough entertainment and sightings to satisfy an array of fans, whether they're more into baseball or Hollywood, or both.
The pitching early in the game was left up to the experts -- Olympians Jennie Finch and Jessica Mendoza -- but the hitting was spread throughout the lineups, which were 15 deep on each side.
Former Major Leaguers included Hall of Famers Tim Raines and Andre Dawson, plus former All-Stars Steve Finley, Bernie Williams, Torii Hunter, Carlos Pena and Cliff Floyd. The celebrity side featured an array of personalities, including a mechanical engineer (Bill Nye the Science Guy), a trivia buff (HQ Trivia host Scott Rogowsky) and two well-known athletes from the D.C. area -- Redskins star Josh Norman and Wizards star John Wall.
Two members of the Wounded Warriors softball team also played: Sergeant Jonathan Herst and Sergeant Cody Rice. Music was provided by country band Florida Georgia Line, with an appearance by "DJ Diesel" -- perhaps better known as NBA Hall of Famer Shaquille O'Neal.
The game had a little bit of everything -- hitting, antics and a cameo appearance by Shaq, who took an at-bat in the fourth inning and popped out in foul territory to rapper Wale.
Academy Award-winning actor Jamie Foxx has memories of traveling from his hometown of Terrell, Texas, to Washington as a kid, hopping on a bus with his mom and grandmother and, upon arrival, being overwhelmed by the landmarks and history of the city.
He wishes every American -- young and old -- could have the experience of visiting Washington. He's even offering rides -- for a small fee.
"I've got a van," Foxx said. "Anyone who wants to come here in the van, let's go. Just need a couple dollars for gas."
Foxx was equally pumped to play in the Legends & Celebrity Softball Game, the annual All-Star rite of passage that gives athletes the chance to mingle with actors, and actors a chance to relive the glory days of their baseball-playing childhoods.
There are parts of Foxx's career as a youth ballplayer, however, that he may want to forget.
Asked his most embarrassing baseball moment, Foxx harked back to his summer league days, when he was one of the best players on his team, and let everyone know it. No teammate was razzed as much by Foxx than Stanley Quist, whom Foxx reminded during the championship game -- several times -- not to choke.
Picture it: Ninth inning, men on first and third, two outs, Foxx's team was up by a run. The opposing hitter connected with a pitch and hit it right to -- who else? -- Foxx, playing third base.
"I'm like, 'Easy money,'" Foxx recalled.
But his throw never made it to first. Instead it hit the pitcher's mound, and Foxx's team ended up losing the game.
"You know what I learned about karma?" Foxx said. "I have instant karma. That's the lesson I learned -- never yell at Stanley Quist."
Smart guys finish first?
The loudest ovation during pregame introductions -- and really, it wasn't even close -- went to Nye, who, according to the Legends & Celebrity Softball record book (there actually isn't one), is the first and only mechanical engineer to participate in the exhibition.
During batting practice, Nye, who grew up in Washington, carried with him his version of a fungo bat, designed to provide an easier experience for coaches who are -- ahem -- of a certain age.
Meet the Fango! It's thinner than a fungo, and it has prongs at the end for which to stab the ball. This, in theory, preserves energy on the coach's behalf.
"What really wears you out is bending over [to pick up the balls]," Nye said, stabbing at a baseball, somewhat unsuccessfully, to demonstrate. A couple Major League people were really interested in it."
As for his expectations in his first celebrity softball game, Nye tempered those just a tad.
"I can't hit, I can't throw, I can't run," he said. "I can't hit for power. I miss everything."
Let him play
When you're named after a legendary music producer, your dad's a notable musician and your mom's an actress and model, you're more likely to take a large gathering of celebrities in stride.
Actor/musician Quincy Brown -- the son of Al B. Sure! and Kim Porter, and named after Motown icon Quincy Jones -- was thrilled to be part of the celebrity roster, first as an entertainer, but also as a ballplayer.
The 27-year-old said he played baseball for 10 years and hasn't quite given up on his dreams to play in the big leagues, though he's aware that giving up his day job to chase those dreams might not be the way to go.
"With music and acting being my passions as well, I could move my passion for baseball to a hobby," Brown said. "I play any chance I can get."
That included Sunday's game in front of around 30,000 fans.
"I hope there are some scouts out there," Brown joked.
Alyson Footer is a national correspondent for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter @alysonfooter.