Last Saturday, the Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball team defeated the NFL stars by a score of 25-9 in the second annual MCOP (Medical Center Orthotics and Prosthetics) Charity Softball Classic.
The event was put on in an effort to raise money for veteran’s amputee charities. With everything from guest celebrity commentary to super heroes in the outfield, it was quite the night at Prince George’s County Stadium in Bowie, MD.
The evening’s festivities kicked off with an autograph session. Here, fans had a chance to get their hats, footballs, jerseys and more signed by both the Wounded Warriors and NFL stars.
The list of current and former NFLers who participated in this event included: QB Tyrod Taylor (BAL), FB Darrell Young (WAS), WR Niles Paul (WAS), WR Joshua Morgan (CHI), DB E.J. Biggers (WAS), LB Cato June (IND, TAM) ESPN 980’s Brian Mitchell (WAS, PHI, NYG) and QB Michael Vick (NYJ).
The Wounded Warriors provided some early fireworks on offense. In the first three innings, they would smash four two-run home runs. These were hit by U.S. Marine veteran Josh Wege, and US Army veterans Matthew Kinsey, Todd Reed, and Saul Bosquez.
Wege, who would hit two total homers in the game later said that it was “neat to have this game” and that “it was always an honor” to play in it and the team’s other contests.
Wege stated that mingling with the NFL players was one of his favorite parts of the day. As he put it, this allowed him to learn about the “personality behind the players.” The 25-year-old is planning on going to Edison College (FL) before transferring to Florida Gulf Coast University.
On the NFL side, Niles Paul would pitch a complete game, although he was not very effective. Paul gave up 25 runs on 22 hits in 6 innings of work.
According to Tyrod Taylor, Paul informed the team that he had pitched before. While Paul was pitiching Taylor commented, “he’s out there trying,” and that despite the game being for fun, “we want to win.”
Darrell Young and Josh Cribbs provided the NFL stars with a glimmer of hope in the top of the seventh inning. Down big, Young and Cribbs hit back to back homeruns to bring the score to 25-8.
Late arrival to the game, Michael Vick, was then called forth by the fans for an at-bat. With a man on, Vick, who was a 30th round draft choice of the Colorado Rockies in 2000, drove the run in with an RBI single to finish the game’s scoring.
The players and Wounded Warriors were not the only one’s providing entertainment that night. All throughout the game, the stadium P.A. announcer was joined by the likes of Bill Cosby, Sylvester Stallone, Mike Tyson and even President Barrack Obama. Each of these celebrity impressions were done by comedian Chris Thomas.
Heroes were a major theme of the night. There were the real life heroes in the Wounded Warriors and NFL Players. As if that was not already enough, the event also featured superheroes from the DC and Marvel comic Universes.
All throughout the game, fans could get pictures, autographs and a fun conversation with Batman, Captain America and Spiderman. All three comic book legends were portrayed by volunteers from Foundation 4 Heroes.
At one point, towards the end of the game, Batman was called upon to give the struggling NFL stars a boost by playing right field. Though he had one error and a popout on his stat sheet, the fans were still more than thrilled to see the Dark Knight in action.
Wege summed the night up best saying, “Everyone is a hero in their own way.”
For more on the Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball team, please visit http://www.woundedwarrioramputeesoftballteam.org/about.php