The MLB Celebrity Softball Game took place on July 7, and it had everything Northeast Ohioans could’ve asked for. It had home runs, Jim Thome, and a shirtless J.R. Smith. The only negative that came from it was the fact that Cleveland came up short and lost to the group of celebrities picked to represent the rest of the world. The final score of the game was 21-16.
J.R. Smith, though his recent stint with the Cavs is regarded more as forgetful than memorable, has forever carved out his name in Cleveland folklore by walking around without a shirt on for what seemed like three months after the Cavs won the NBA Championship in 2016. Nobody, and I mean absolutely nobody, had more fun than J.R. Smith at the game. Such a pleasure to see this guy having some fun and showing some of his electric personality.
Travis “Pronk” Hafner was one of the best home run hitters to ever step foot in Progressive Field. The guy had an entire section of the ballpark named after him (shoutout Pronkville). But he became the first person to hit a homerun in a celebrity softball game over the actual right field wall. Pronk was a guys guy and it was really something special to be able to see him return to Cleveland to play some softball. Now if I could only find a way to get him onto my Sunday Beer League.
Jim Thome took the field as well, but being the humble guy he is, he let his son Landon take his at-bat, and Landon, like his father, came up big in Cleveland by driving in a run.
The Cleveland lineup highlighted many other local celebrities including Rapper Machine Gun Kelly, Former UFC Champion and all-around manly man Stipe Miocic, former Browns Left Tackle and Future Hall of Famer Joe Thomas, Kansas City tight-end Travis Kelce, WWE Superstar and West Park native Mike “The Miz” Mizanin, and even Dr. Oz (ever heard of him?).
Even though the Cleveland team lost, Clevelanders from all around were able to watch a great show and get a feeling of nostalgia. All-Star festivities continue Monday, July 8 with the Home Run Derby at 8 pm ET and conclude with the All-Star game on Tuesday.