Bethesda, MD -- In what is sure to be the first in a long line of big events, yesterday’s Big Train Celebrity Softball Classic raised a significant sum of money to help build local youth baseball fields. The game showcased a team of athletes (led by members of the Washington Redskins, Maryland Terrapins basketball, and the Washington Wizards) and a team of media members (including those from Comcast SportsNet, ESPN980, 106.7 the FAN, and local affiliates of NBC, CBS, and FOX).
While some of the players were more experienced in softball or baseball, others were not so lucky. Brandon Banks (Redskins, wide receiver) had never even picked up a bat before yesterday’s game. However, when asked who he would give the MVP award to, Banks had an interesting answer.
“I’m a natural athlete,” Banks humorously declared. “I give it to myself. I had the double play at the end of the game [that made us] win the game.” Banks also enjoyed some of the aspects of this particular game. “It’s the first [charitable event where] I’ve played a sport I never played before,” he said. “We got to give back to the community for a good cause, so it just felt good to be out here. I had fun.”
Other players were not as happy with their results. “I didn’t make contact,” said Comcast SportsNet anchor Ivan Carter. “[Co-host Brian Mitchell] is going to kill me. I didn’t want to get [shown] up in front of all these professional athletes, but, hey, [the] media always [gets] the last word.”
Some players were pleased with their own play but thought some of their teammates should have been less pleased with themselves than they were. “[Banks] really didn’t do anything,” said Redskins linebacker Lorenzo Alexander. “I mean, [former Redskins running back] Ladell Betts scored our inside-the-park home run, and [former American University forward Travis Lay] hit a two-run shot, so one of those guys deserves [the MVP]. Defensively, [Banks] definitely didn’t do anything. I think I had the best defensive day.”
Another player who had a great all around day wanted to be considered for MVP honors. “I also nominate myself team MVP,” said Kedric Golston (Redskins, defensive end). “Just give me the trophy even if I wasn’t the MVP. All I know is I pitched [five] solid innings, only gave up two runs, got a hit… a [really] productive day for a pitcher.”
The Athletes defeated the Media by a close score of 3-2, surely setting up an intense rivalry for years to come. Many athletes and media members were happy to stick around after the game to do interviews and sign autographs or take pictures with the many hundreds of fans that came to Shirley Povich field to support a great cause.
As for the media? There’s always next year.