So I played in my first official organized baseball game yesterday. I mean official...with fast pitching, empires, big crowd and all that. First of my life. I have played baseball before (I am Dominican after all), I have played softball several times (been in rec leagues and even organized a charity game myself for my foundation when I was playing for the Pistons), but I have never played organized baseball like this…until yesterday.
Dirk had his annual "Heroes Celebrity Baseball Game" at the Rough Ryders stadium in Frisco, Texas. Dirk asked me to play when the season ended and I said of course I would…I LOVE baseball and it was a way for me to show my teammate some love. Anyways, this game was OFFICIAL.
Photo Credit: Steve Chavera
They had hard helmets, I was wearing cleats, the jersey and pants were official, and check this out...when the national anthem was being sung, they had the official Air Force planes flying over the stadium…I started getting goose bumps. No joke! I felt like I was about to play in the World Series or something LOL. I was even chewing sunflower seeds and spitting them all over the dugout like I was a 10-year Major Leaguer ;)
Photo Credit: Steve Chavera
It was a good time for a great cause. There were a number of local celebrities, radio personalities, a few former MLB players and of course NBA players - such as: Dirk Nowitzki of course, Tyson Chandler, Mike Finley, Nick Van Exel, Brian Cardinal, Steve Nash (who played second base pretty smoothly), Michael Young and myself just to name a few. There were NFL players too: Dunbar from the Cowboys who clearly played high school baseball and Dez Bryant is a supreme athlete. The way Dez Bryant runs, it is effortless for him. All in all it was an awesome and dope event. It was tiring too. I could only imagine playing 162 games a year...yikes! But I loved it and would gladly participate again any time, any where. It was even fun to mess with Coach Carlisle and Donnie Nelson (who was my first base coach).
I went 2-3 with an RBI. Made some solid plays at first base (I switched from left field to first base). We actually rocked the opposing team! I think the final score was 17-5. I mean we rocked them lol. Not gonna lie…I look like a legit baseball player, despite standing at 6'11" lol. Again, that might be a Dominican thing. We take pride in our baseball.
All good stuff and all for a great cause. Thank you Dirk. I might actually do something like this in Florida one year for The Charlie Villanueva Foundation. Stay tuned my friends.
Charlie Villanueva #believeincharlie
PS—On another note...I haven’t really had any formal discussions or thoughts about where I am going to be playing at for next season, but it is about that time. I will be heading to NYC this week to speak to my agent. It is amazing how much can change in a year. I am looking forward in going through the free agency process once again. I am interested to see how the market place has changed for me and lets see where I end up. Introspectively, I am not a patient dude. I need to know things now BUT I WILL do my best to be patient here and see where/how this nets out. Should be exciting! God bless my journey ahead.
PPS—Big Shout out to the good people and team who helped put this Heroes Celebrity baseball game together: Dirk Nowitzki Foundation, Heroes Foundation, Lara Beth, Marley, Lesley and Lexie from the Mavs. Shout out to Steve-O from the Mavs who always has my back with the dope photos. Great to see you guys!