Future Hall of Fame wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald recently held his eighth annual celebrity softball game, hosted by none other than the Phoenix valley’s most lovable radio host Super Snake. The event took place at Salt River Fields, the Arizona Diamondbacks spring training facility located in Scottsdale, Arizona. Larry Fitzgerald is one of the most likable guys in sports, but these celebs didn’t just show up to chat with an old friend or hit poorly thrown softballs by Hall of Fame wide receiver, Terrell Owens; they were there to give back.
In 2004, Fitz created the First Down Fund, a charity to help kids and their families in crisis and to support health-related organizations that work with families. This softball game is just one of the many ways Fitzgerald and friends give back. This year, the celebrity game was able to raise $65,00 for the First Down Fund. Larry doesn’t just give back, he lets the fans give back. Last year over 300 charities were nominated by Larry’s fans to receive funding from the First Down Fund. In 2013, Larry collaborated with Riddell to donate 1,000 Riddell Youth football helmets to the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board MPRB’s youth football program, the place where it all began for Larry Legend.
To list the number of people and places Larry has impacted would take much longer than the lunch break you are probably using to read this article, but there is a reason some of the biggest names in sports took time out of their lives to support this event. Names like HOF wide receiver Terrell Owens and HOF linebacker Brian Urlacher. Joining Urlacher and Owens on the “visiting team” (aka the White Team) was former Los Angeles Laker Derek Fisher, reality television star Gloria Govan, Cardinals running back David Johnson, former Cardinals running back Chris Vincent, Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey, actress AzMarie Livingston, running back Adrian Peterson, Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver Keenan Allen, Cleveland Browns quarterback Drew Stanton, and native to the valley, NFL Draft prospect Christian Kirk (WR).
Joining Larry on his team (the Red Team) was wide receiver Brandon Marshall, Phoenix Mercury’s and the WNBA’s all-time leading scorer Diana Taurasi, Jaguars defensive end Calais Campbell, record producer LT Hutton, Seattle Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner, actress and model Claudia Jordan, New York Jets wide receiver Andre Roberts, Chicago Bears cornerback Kyle Fuller, Chelsey Davis from Arizona’s ABC 15, singer-songwriter Kelly James, and former Marshall wide receiver Marcus Fitzgerald (Larry’s brother).
Fitzgerald would rather you not know the final score, but his team was crushed 26-10. What can you expect from a captain (Larry) who sits atop the dugout signing autographs all game?! The White Team jumped out to a commanding 11-0 lead when David Johnson belted a grand slam early in the game.
Prior to the game, celebs took part in a homerun derby where Phoenix Suns guard and last year’s derby winner Devin Booker made an appearance. However, Booker was no match for this year’s derby champ, Drew Stanton, who seemingly belted every ball over the fence until electing to switch-hit giving other members an opportunity to compete. Also making appearances were Arizona Cardinals new Head Coach Steve Wilks and team President Michael Bidwill.
For a game that meant nothing, to the children in the crowd and those that will be generously impacted, it meant everything. It was a great night.
To find out more about Larry Fitzgerald’s First Down fund please visit: http://www.larryfitzgerald.com/helpingpeople/firstdownfund/
All photos used in this article were taken by Mike Yduarte – @mike_yduarte (Instagram and Twitter)
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