“None at all,” Wall said. “I’ve been chilling.”
Not knowing exactly what position he would take before the game started, Wall was aware of one thing: it wouldn’t be pitcher. The ceremonial first pitch he threw at a 2011 game didn’t exactly remind anyone of Max Scherzer or Stephen Strasburg.
Wall ended up at first base. And while his game preparation can’t be compared to how he approaches a Wizards game, Wall still did some damage, including a base hit and a run scored in the bottom of the second inning.
Bill Nye the Science Guy put a bit more effort into preparing for the game. He made two trips to the batting cage. That didn’t solve Nye’s biggest problem, though.
“I can’t hit, I can’t throw, I can’t catch, I can’t run. I am missing everything,” Nye said, adding that he set a goal to hit a double. Nye seemed to contradict his self-assessment, making contact with almost every ball he swung at during batting practice.
He received several standing ovations, and got a base hit in the third inning after a strikeout in his first at-bat. The night had special meeting for Nye, who grew up in Washington and was raised a Senators fan.
While he joked that being a Senators fan “beat him down,” Nationals Park is more than just another baseball field for Nye.
“I am so excited the Nationals are back hosting. I am very excited to be back at Nationals Ballpark,” he said. “I lived in Seattle. I was a Mariners fan. I live in L.A. now, the Dodgers. But my home team, man, is the Nats. I can’t help it. It’s deep within us. Let’s play ball.”
After Florida Georgia Line and Shaquille O’Neal — going by his stage name DJ Diesel — set the tone for the evening with music — emphasized with fireworks and flames — it was game time.
First to the plate was “Chicago Fire” actor Taylor Kinney, who lined one to center field for a base hit. Following at-bats from actors Brandon Larracuente (“13 Reasons Why”) and Skai Jackson (“Jessie” and “Bunk’d”), Celebrity Game veteran Jamie Foxx stepped up to the plate.
Introduced as the official leader of the LeBron James fan club and rocking a No. 23 jersey to prove it, Foxx had his game face on. He ripped a base hit.
“I had a rigorous training regimen about 30 minutes ago,” Foxx told the crowd.
In the fourth inning, Foxx took a break from his player duties to hop in the DJ booth, relieving O’Neal — er, DJ Diesel — from his post. And with that, the switch was in. Shaq pinch hit for Foxx, and with the National League team along the baseline, cellphones out all around to capture the moment, O’Neal struck out swinging.
Foxx offered advice to O’Neal, or at least a suggestion on how to move past his performance.
“Whatever I can’t do athletically, I cover it up with smack talk,” Foxx said. It’s safe to say O’Neal is aware of that one.
On a more serious note, Foxx explained what he perceives as the importance of participating in events such as these.
“Sports is big because, think about this,” he said. “No matter what you are going through, no matter what is going on in the country or politics or whoever is against each other, where do you come together the most? Through sports.”
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