To summarize the details behind this glorious event… Mount Sinai Hospital, in Toronto, held a celebrity charity softball tournament this weekend to raise money for breast and ovarian cancer. The name of the event was Strike Out for Cancer. My mother has a connection at the hospital and was able to get my friend and I on a team of older ladies, who were very impressive in their donations. We ended up being the highest fundraising team and were given the first pick in the celebrity draft AND the opportunity to play in the celebrity game at the end of the tournament.
This takes us to Saturday – The Draft Party
Saturday night was an awesome event filled with free food, beverages and celebrities. The point of this evening was to meet and greet the celebs and decide who each team wanted to draft to play on their softball teams the next day. The celebs included: Kurt Russell, Alfonso Ribeiro (Carlton from Fresh Prince), Enrico Colantoni, Roberto Alomar, Devon White, David Justice, Tim Raines, Marcus Allen, Andre Dawson, Miss Universe Canada and several other former ballplayers and other athletes. Dan Shulman (former Toronto Blue Jays announcer, current ESPN baseball announcer) hosted the draft. Our team chose first and we chose none other than KURT RUSSELL! Confirmed, locked and loaded, put it in ink… I was to play baseball with Kurt Russell as a teammate. When I was a young child, I said to myself, “One day, I’m going to grow up to play softball with Kurt Russell,” and looky looky at what has happened. Booyah!
I spent the evening trying to get a pic with everyone as well as cover the softball I brought with me in autographs. Success! Everyone was really nice (niceness award goes to David Justice, who humoured me with a little banter about his days with the awesome Cleveland Indians of the mid-’90s). This event was legit. Each team had their own waiter constantly offering to make food and drink runs to the various kiosks surrounding the room. I did mention that I met and was back-patted by Miss Universe Canada, right?
And, now, Sunday’s main event – Softball Tournament
This was a ridiculously wet and rainy day. The softball diamonds were soggy, muddy and generally unpleasant. But, who in their right mind cares about any of that when they’re playing ball with Kurt Russell? To confirm… I played catch with him, patted his butt (a promise I made to Sam), I got to pitch to him, play shortstop to his first base AND (because you pitch to your own team) I hit 3 real (ie. over the fence) home runs off Mr. Kurt Russell. Where can I go from here? In an earlier post, I reflected upon my acknowledgment that I’ll never be an athlete… well, this is close enough for me!
The tournament consisted of 3 games (in which I played against Bret Saberhagen, Andre Dawson and Drew Taylor). But, the main event was a special (somewhat televised?) game between my team and the celebrities. It was an informal 2 inning affair, but I managed to hit a single (pop up just out of Tim Raines’ range – Awesome) and I caught fly balls off of Pedro Guerrero and Alfonso Ribeiro (which I turned into a double play). The highlights of the day were all the brief, yet incredible, exchanges I was able to have with the various celebs (some jokes were made – some jokes earned mild laughs). Enrico Colantoni came up to ME to ask how the day was going – yes please.
I apologize for the name-dropping and the self-indulgence, but this was truly a day for me to remember and I enjoyed it to the fullest.
Who ever gets to play baseball with Kurt Russell???
P.S. I confirmed it… Kurt did NOT turn down The Expendables.