(ABOVE: Channel 2's Taft Price, Liz Bryant and myself are pretending to look like real ball players before the game.)
"Home Run for the Homeless" is an annual benefit softball game featuring alleged local TV news celebrities vs the local radio personalities. This was my first year to play.
The game is played downtown at ONEOK field, home of the Tulsa Drillers. Admission is a $5 donation and free for children.
The purpose of the game is to raise money for the Tulsa Day Center for the Homeless. The Day Center specializes in helping homeless people "get back on their feet" so they can become self-sufficient. It offers programs and operates 24 hours a day.
(ABOVE: Liz and me with Julie Chin! Though Julie has "retired" from tv news, expect to continue seeing her all over town.)
Each local TV station volunteers familiar faces to play in the softball game. For this year's game, Taft Price, Liz Bryant and myself represented Channel 2. Al Jerkens, Jason Shackelford, Justin Wilfon and Russ McCaskey and others have played in recent years too.
The radio team was well represented as I recognized a personality from nearly each local radio station. This included my friend Kevin Ward from the 97.1 "the Sports Animal" who pitched. Their "ringer" was former TU quarterback Paul Smith . (Paul also works for 97.1FM, "the Sports Animal.")
In the broadcast booth, Phil and Brent from KMOD along with Roy D. Mercer provided humor at the players' expense.
Probably the highlight of the fun is helping and watching the kids run the bases during the middle of the game! (BELOW PIC)
As far as the actual game, the TV team stopped a losing streak to the radio folks with a 10-1 victory. Our defense played really, really well. Even a few double plays!
I did ok on the night too. I got a hit in every at bat, and defensively, I didn't make any errors at shortstop. (I blame not shaving for my good performance...)
Weather-wise, conditions were perfect with a temperature near 70 degrees, low humidity and not much wind.
Nearly $10,000 was raised for the Day Center. No one got hurt, and everyone had a good time.-- hope to be back next year! :)
Thanks for reading. George
(BELOW: Here is the view from the field. The Tulsa Drillers get nice views of downtown when they play.)