Baseball greats, celebrities join for softball game
Rapper Nelly, gold medalist Jennie Finch among players in All-Star event
As we enter the frantic final stages of voting to determine starters at Target Field via the All-Star Game MLB.com Ballot Sponsored by Experian, we can at least tell you which players will be starring there two days earlier in the annual Taco Bell All-Star Legends & Celebrity Softball Game.
Major League Baseball announced on Monday that past greats Andre Dawson, Rollie Fingers, Rickey Henderson, Ozzie Smith, Fred Lynn, Mike Piazza and John Smoltz will join up with Grammy-winning rapper and noted Cardinals fan Nelly, actor/comedian Rob Riggle, and TV personality and producer Andy Cohen on July 13. The game will be televised immediately after the Gillette Home Run Derby on July 14 on ESPN.
That bunch will join actor Dylan O'Brien of this fall's "The Maze Runner," actor Charlie McDermott from "The Middle," Olympic softball gold medalist and annual participant Jennie Finch and Larry Fitzgerald, the Arizona Cardinals star who is from Minneapolis. MTV2 "Off the Bat" co-hosts Sway, Fat Joe, Chris Distefano and Melanie Iglesias will play as well.
Previously announced participants include Twins legends Jack Morris and Jim Thome, Minnesota residents and TV personalities Andrew Zimmern and James Denton, and Minnesota sports stars Kevin Love of the Timberwolves, Maya Moore of the Lynx, Zach Parise of the Wild and Adrian Peterson of the Vikings. Actor Jon Hamm is no longer scheduled to participate due to unforeseen scheduling conflicts, but Nelly will carry the Redbirds' flag for him.
"You just don't want to be the goat," Fingers said on the day of last year's game at Citi Field in New York. "You don't want to be the guy that dropped the ball playing first base with the winning run on third. You're going to want to try to do well."
"I love All-Star. I love being around baseball. It's a great couple of days, and I'm excited," said Finch, who in 2011 was the first woman to homer in the event -- and might be the face of the event now. "I'm honored to represent softball at the All-Star Game."
It will be a fifth anniversary return for Nelly, who starred in the 2009 event in front of his home crowd at Busch Stadium. That day, he threw a pop fly from left-center over the catcher's head, but he made good with a diving catch and then a home run. He also crashed through the wall in left-center. Keep an eye on him around Target Field.
It is the second game of a fun doubleheader of activity at Target Field during Taco Bell All-Star Sunday. Preceding the softball game will be the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game, which will air live on MLB Network at 5 p.m. ET, featuring some of MLB's best young prospects from the U.S. and around the world. Tickets for Taco Bell All-Star Sunday can be purchased online.
MLB.com will provide extensive online coverage of the All-Star Week festivities.
The 85th All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX, in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS, and worldwide by partners in more than 200 countries via MLB International's independent feed. ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide national radio coverage of the All-Star Game. MLB Network and SiriusXM will also provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information, please visit the All-Star webpage.