FRISCO -- "9200 people came. Insane. Sell out. You guys are amazing. Thanks for supporting my baseball game," Dallas Mavericks superstar Dirk Nowitzki tweeted after the 2014 version of the Heroes Celebrity Baseball Game presented by Baylor Medical Center at Frisco.
While Nowitzki's team was victorious for the first time since he took the reins of the event from Dallas Stars legend Mike Modano three summers ago, the real beneficiaries of the event's first ever sellout were the Dirk Nowitzki Foundation and the Heroes Foundation. The game was announced as a sellout Friday morning during the game's training camp, with only outfield lawn seats remaining. The ticket office had to turn people away Saturday night as the game drew a standing-room-only crowd.
A big reason for the success of this year's game was the star-studded lineup of Nowitzki's celebrity friends who showed up to support the event. The White Sox roster coached by Mavs head coach Rick Carlisle included Nowitzki, his fellow Mavs teammates Monta Ellis, Devin Harris and Bernard James, former Mavs Jason Terry, Michael Finley and Brian Cardinal, former Texas Rangers star Michael Young, Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett and players Dez Bryant, Jason Witten and Tony Romo (who due to his back injury was on hand as dugout coach).
The Blue Sox, who were coached by Mavs president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson, roster included former Rangers catcher Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez, Dallas Stars center Tyler Seguin, former Cowboys receiver Terrell Owens, current Cowboys receiver Terrance Williams, Josh Henderson from TNT's Dallas, and former Blue Jays, Yankees and Arlington Bowie outfielder Vernon Wells.
The first pitch was at 6:30 p.m., but following the first inning, the action came to a halt for a home run derby featuring the four former major leaguers and Nowitzki. When the game got back underway, the only things that slowed down the offense was the performances between innings from the Mavs Dancers, Mavs ManiAACs and Dallas Mavericks Drumline.
Brian Cardinal, one of the folk heroes from the Mavs NBA championship run in 2011, had the game-winning hit and shared co-MVP honors with Nowtizki as the White Sox won 17-16. On the longest day of the year, the annual Heroes baseball game had its biggest night ever.
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