Nowitzki experiences the joy of scoring a run
06/29/2013 11:11 PM
06/29/2013 11:36 PM
Dallas Mavericks star forward Dirk Nowitzki candidly admitted that his baseball skills are more than suspect.
Saturday was only the second time the German tried to play baseball when he hosted the 12th annual Heroes Celebrity Baseball Game at Dr Pepper Ballpark in Frisco.
His Blue Sox team dropped the charity exhibition 19-11 to the White Sox squad.
His play at first base won’t get any looks by Rangers scouts, but he achieved his goal going into the game ... to reach second base.
Nowitzki accomplished the feat from the start, dribbling a single through the right side of the infield.
The following four batters would reach base, including a single by former major-leaguer and Arlington native Ben Grieve that drove Dirk across the plate with arms spread like a giant aircraft.
Nowitzki’s run was one of five the Blue Sox scored in the first inning, backing up their manager David Justice’s jokingly pointed comments before the game began.
“I have the most talented team, so it’s almost unfair that I get to manage this star quality,” the former major-leaguer said.
“Once the game plays out, you’ll see the kind of squad I have.”
The bottom of the Blue Sox order added four more runs, aided by a single from Mavericks guard O.J. Mayo.
From that point, the White Sox skunked Nowitzki’s squad, also backing up their manager’s pregame smack talk.
“From what I saw yesterday, we have some sluggers,” former major league closer Goose Gossage said. “We’re going to give the big fellow here a Nolan Ryan bow tie.”
Former Cowboys wide receiver Terrell Owens reached base three times in the final six innings, including a double that bounced off the left-field fence in the fourth inning.
Another former Cowboy, safety Roy Williams, took home the MVP honors after he scored on a triple that allowed him to advance to home on the throw, or how it was unofficially scored by everyone in the home of the Frisco Rough Riders, an inside-the-park home run.
Coming out of celebrity baseball retirement, Mavs owner Mark Cuban hoped to reclaim MVP honors he won earlier in his career.
“Let me just tell you, I played 10 years and I retired as the MVP,” Cuban boasted Friday. “You guys forgot about that, which I’m really upset about. I had the game-winning hit ... you’ve obviously forgotten about that too.”
Saturday was a different story for the owner-turned-ballplayer, sporting a jersey with a dollar sign as the number, as he went 0 for 3.
The charity game continued to be a huge success, pulling in more ticket sales for this year’s edition than any prior.
It’s estimated the event raised $2.9 million to improve the lives of Dallas-area kids.
For that reason, Nowitzki remained unashamed of the work he did on the field.
“I have no baseball skills, but this for a great cause,” he said.
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