FRISCO, Texas — The stars were out Saturday night as Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki hosted the 2014 Heroes Celebrity Baseball Game presented by Baylor Medical Center. The game featured stars of the Mavericks and Dallas Cowboys and former Texas Rangers. Nowitzki led his White Socks against the Blue Socks.
Former Dallas Stars center Mike Modano established the game 10 years ago. With the event flagging three years ago, the foundation approached Nowitzki, who has taken over responsibility since. The event benefits the children’s charities of the Dirk Nowitzki Foundation and the Heroes Foundation, established by Mavs owner Mark Cuban.
For the first time, the celebrity baseball game played at Frisco’s Dr Pepper Ballpark sold out -- for which Nowitzki expressed his gratitude.
9200 people came. Insane. Sell out. You guys are amazing. Thanks for supporting my baseball game.
— Dirk Nowitzki (@swish41) June 22, 2014
Here are some of the highlights:
Cowboys quarterback/White Socks dugout coach Tony Romo joked during the game that he was dying to play, but head coach Jason Garrett -- who played third base -- wouldn’t let him. Both Garrett and Mavs coach Rick Carlisle joked beforehand that they had a similar dream: That everyone involved would avoid any injuries. Their dream ultimately came true.
Nowitzki -- who played first base -- singled in his first at-bat, a line drive up the middle. Nowitzki casually ran backward to first base. He later scored the first run of the game.
Jason Witten was caught in a rundown between first and second base during the same inning. He was eventually called out at first but charged into the opposing catcher. No one was injured.
Cowboys wide receiver/White Socks center fielder Dez Bryant made a tremendous catch in the top of the fourth inning. Former Rangers catcher Ivan Rodriguez hit a hard pop fly to center, forcing Bryant to retreat. Still trying to catch up to the ball, Bryant leapt as he was running backward and snagged the ball, drawing a roar of applause from the crowd.
Between innings, Carlisle joined the Mavs' drum line. As its members were going through their routine, Carlisle grabbed sticks and began banging on each of the drums.
Mavericks guard/White Socks second baseman Devin Harris had an eventful sixth inning. He let a ground ball roll between his legs -- then redeemed himself with a running over-the-shoulder catch on the next play.
Former Mavericks forward/White Socks infielder Brian Cardinal had the game-winning hit, a bases-clearing two-out double. The fly ball got past a hard-charging Terrell Owens. The White Socks scored seven runs during their comeback in the bottom of the sixth inning.
Cardinal and Nowitzki were named co-MVPs of the game. With the 17-16 win, Nowitzki got his first victory in the charity contest. In addition to the 33 runs, the teams combined for 40 hits.