Rick Scuteri/Associated Press
The 20th edition of the MLB All-Star Celebrity Softball Game will go down on Sunday at 6 p.m. ET from Denver’s Coors Field.
However, the matchup is scheduled to be televised by ESPN on Monday at 10 p.m. It will air after the completion of the MLB Home Run Derby, which will begin on Monday at 8 p.m.
This year will mark the 20th version of the contest, which began in 2001.
Like many slow-pitch softball contests, this game is usually a high-scoring affair. Fifty runs were notably scored in 2017, while the 2019 version of the game ended in a 21-16 result.
However, this will be the first time this contest takes place in Coors Field, the hitter-friendly ballpark known as a home run haven for decades.
Therefore, we could see even more offensive action than usual, especially considering the participants.
Per MLB.com, the initial group included Quavo, Jojo Siwa, Steve Aoki, Ross Butler, Noah Beck, Charles Melton, Residente, Blake Gray, The Miz, Kane Brown, Karamo, DK Metcalf, J.I.D, Derrick White, CC Sabathia, Jennie Finch, Hunter Pence, Larry Walker and Vinny Castilla.
Last Thursday, MLB released 12 more names added to the field: Anthony Mackie, Anuel AA, Von Miller, Josh Richards, Jhay Cortez, Will Barton, Philipp Grubauer, Chase Carter, Jorge Masvidal, Brandon McManus, Lauren Chamberlain and Natasha Watley.
As far as predicting the stars of this game, Chamberlain is your early MVP favorite. The ex-Oklahoma star owns the all-time college softball home run record with 95. Slow-pitch softball is a bit different than the fast-pitch game, but chances are Chamberlain won’t find it hard at all to adjust.
Few softball players are more decorated than Watley, who won gold at the 2004 Summer Olympics and silver in the 2008 Games. The three-time World Cup champion played college softball at UCLA and won the College World Series title in 2003. She’s also a four-time First-Team All-American.
There’s also Finch, who is undoubtedly the greatest softball pitcher in the game’s history. In fast-pitch, she’d easily dominate, but her towering skills are hampered by the lob-pitching nature of this game.
As for other players to watch,
Metcalf, the 6’4″, 235-pound Seattle Seahawks wide receiver, looks like he would send a ball to space even with the slightest contact. The same goes for 6’3″, 250-pound Denver Broncos linebacker Von Miller.
Walker and Castilla regularly did so as members of the Colorado Rockies, who were an offensive powerhouse when those two took the field in the 1990s.
Walker, a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame class of 2020, hit 258 homers in 10 years for the Rockies, including a National League-high 49 in 1997. Castilla, a two-time All-Star, had 203 homers in seven seasons in his first stint with Colorado, including 40 each in 1996 and 1997 and a career-high 46 in 1998. He added a total of 36 more when he rejoined the team in 2004 and then 2006.
Both men are past their athletic prime at the age of 54, but it wouldn’t be a surprise to see either of them smack one over the softball field fence.
The MVP of this one could end up going to Hunter Pence, though. Pence, an MLB free agent, played in the bigs from 2007-2020, making four All-Star teams and winning two World Series with the San Francisco Giants. He had some pop in his bat, smacking 244 homers.
Offensive explosions may ultimately end up being the theme of All-Star Week in Denver, with the softball game no exception.
That matchup will be the second half of a doubleheader, with the All-Star Futures Game occurring beforehand.