Dirk Nowitzki hosted the 14th edition of the Heroes Celebrity Baseball Game on Saturday Night at Dr. Pepper Ballpark in Frisco in front of a near sellout crowd. The Heroes game, which benefits the Dirk Nowitzki Foundation and the Heroes Foundation, has helped raise $3.4 million in the last few years for Dallas area youth. And once again, the game was a smashing success.
Fans poured through the gates for a chance to catch a glimpse at some of their favorite DFW area athletes and personalities, a list that included: current and former Dallas Mavericks such as Dirk, Tyson Chandler, Devin Harris, Charlie Villanueva, Brian Cardinal and Steve Nash, the Dallas Cowboys’ Tyron Smith, Dez Bryant, Lance Dunbar, Cole Beasley and Ronald Leary, former Texas Rangers Michael Young and Kevin Mench, and Dallas sports personalities Mike Bacsik, Ben Rogers and Skin Wade among many others.
“It’s been incredible support from the Metroplex and the other guys that are flying in,” Nowitzki said. “This is my fourth year doing it, and we’ve had a lot of celebrities roll through here. It’s been incredible support from the fans and from the celebs.”
The White Sox, lead by Nowitzki and Nash, took on the Blue Sox, who were lead by Tyron Smith and Michael Young. The White Sox had a hard time getting anything going throughout the game offensively. Steve Nash was the White Sox' best performer on the night, going 2-3 and making some very impressive defensive plays (while managing to avoid injury). Kevin Mench launched a home run into left field in the second inning, but it wasn’t enough to carry his team to a victory
The Blue Sox on the other hand got out to a quick 3-0 lead in the first inning when Young smashed a triple into center field. Tyron Smith, who took home the game’s MVP award, went 3-3 while hitting two doubles and a triple on the night. Smith, along with other Cowboys Dunbar and Beasley, helped pave the way for the Blue Sox 17-5 win over Dirk’s White Sox.
While the event was going on however, it was hard for many to ignore the looming questions about the Mavericks upcoming offseason shopping. Even Dez got in on the action when he grabbed the microphone from the emcee and pleaded with the crowd to get on Twitter and Instagram to recruit LaMarcus Aldridge and DeAndre Jordan to the Mavs.
Of course by now you are aware of the DB.com/CowboysHQ.com exclusive on Dez, Jerry Jones and Tony Romo being involved in the Mavs recruitment of Jordan and Aldridge.
Tyson and Dirk also fielded some questions on the topic, and when asked about his future as a Mav, TY wasn’t giving too many hints.
Tyson Chandler talking about free agency earlier today pic.twitter.com/q2nIV6pfiH— Matthew Galatzan (@TheGalatzanator) June 28, 2015
“Business is business. I get it. They need to make the best decision for the franchise. I still feel like I've got a lot to go, a lot left to give,” Chandler said. “At the end of the day, I feel like I make the best decision for myself and my family and Mark makes the best decision for the organization.”
The Big German -- who hit a double early but whiffed at the plate late in the game, his 7-0 frame almost crumbling to the dirt -- also talked more about his plans for the summer, and his plans to help Donnie and Co. recruit.
Dirk taking some cuts at batting practice pic.twitter.com/OhELscJ7Fd— Matthew Galatzan (@TheGalatzanator) June 26, 2015
“The first week of July, I'm available and then I'll be gone the rest of the summer,'' he said. "My parents haven't even seen my son (baby Max) yet. So, I'm going to go home to Germany and spend some time with them. And then I'll start working out.”
Nowitzki also plans on spending some time preparing for the European Championships in Berlin this summer.
“If the Euros had been in any other country than Germany, I probably would have been a no-go,” Nowitzki said. “But this way I’m really looking forward to it, to playing in my home country. Representing Germany in Berlin, which is a great city and a great basketball city. It should be a blast.”
To most Mavs fans (including the seemingly thousands who got autographs from a late-staying Dirk, a crowd-pleaser matched only by Dez' left-field gymnastics flip) the most important task for Dallas will be finding the right players to put on their roster that will help them compete. See DB.com Mavs News Archives to the latest news on those pursuits.