During the 18th Annual Arizona Baseball Charities/Molina Fine Jewelers Celebrity Game on Sunday, nearly 40 former Major Leaguers including Hall of Fame pitcher Gaylord Perry, had a chance to hit the ball, round the bases and again have their moment in the sun before a crowd of about 7,000 fans at Scottsdale Stadium.
Many of the former players squeezed into their old uniforms, but blamed the new dry cleaners for shrinking them as the uniforms seemed to be suddenly harder to get into, some of the players said.
At Sunday’s game, more than $40,000 was given to Little League teams throughout the state - $300 was given to 43 teams, 10 teams received $1,000 each, one received $2,500 and one received the grand slam of prizes - $5,000.
The teams and leagues, which include a number from the East Valley, will use the money for baseball equipment and other field improvements in preparation of the 2010 baseball season, said former Major Leaguer Buddy Schultz, president of Arizona Baseball Charities.
Besides Hall of Famer Gaylord Perry taking to the mound, an Elvis impersonator was on the field who led the crowd in song by belting out “Sweet Caroline!”
Mesa resident Albie Lopez, who pitched for Cleveland Indians from 1993 to 1997 and in the 2001 World Series for the Arizona Diamondbacks and Kory DeHann, former San Diego Padres outfielder, who lives in Chandler, also participated in the game.
In the end, the American Leaguers beat the National Leaguers, 10-3, and although Perry, now 71, was questioned by umpires, he was not caught for throwing his Vaseline-laden trademark pitch “The Spitter.”