Discovered by the fires and shocked by Thousand Oaks' border shooting, local Malibu and Milwaukee Brewers Ryan Braun and Christian Yelich, Major League Baseball's free agent Mike Moustakas and LA Rams quarterback Jared Goff brainstormed for helping victims of tragedies.
They never imagined that their idea would blossom into the California Strong, star-studded softball game celebrated Sunday, January 13, at Eddy D. Field's Pepperdine baseball stadium. The event, which the Southeast Ventura County YMCA helped coordinate, countered Team California and Team Strong one against the other.
"I live in Malibu and, like many people, I was evacuated and I had not known for days if I had lost my home," said Braun Malibu Surfside News. "This cause was particularly close to our hearts because we could see the devastation in the first person and we wanted to do what we could to help".
Other MLB stars, including LA Dodgers players Justin Turner and Joc Pederson, have joined Reggie Miller (former Indiana Pacers basketball player), heavyweight champion UFC Chuck Liddell, Cleveland Browns Baker Mayfield football player and Dain Blanton, Olympic gold volleyball medal. Entertainers including Jamie Foxx, Adam Sandler, Brad Paisley, Charlie Sheen, Rob Riggle and Patrick Schwarzenegger also joined the event.
Play with the ball!
After an honorary guarding ceremony with the 146 Airlift Wings, Pia Toscano performed an extraordinary interpretation of the national anthem. Then, the speakers started playing cheerful songs like "Let's Get Started" by The Black Eyed Peas and "All Star" by Smash Mouth.
Nature has collaborated and the participants have played six innings of fun full of humor.
There were not many basic hits because there were too many outfielders. Too many outfielders.
At the top of the fourth inning, the actor Jimmy Tatro ("The Guest Book"), who would later be named MVP, scored for Team California.
At the end of the fourth, Riggle scored for Team Strong, winning the game at 1-1.
Team Strong took a 2-1 lead in fifth place when actor Rainn Wilson ("The Office") got a piece of the ball, hitting against the fence – no small business playing softball in a huge stadium baseball. The statistics were quite impressive, with Team California having a run, five shots and a mistake and Team Strong scoring two points, six shots and one mistake.
Between an innings and the other, the participants played good old-fashioned games, including a frantic scavenger hunt and "vertigo", an effort in which one turns around a bat standing at breakneck speed, trying to survive the other participants.
Viewers also enjoyed flyover from three World War II T-6 Texan Condors and gave a standing ovation to show appreciation for first responders and military members.
After several teammates hit striking balls, the actor Jaleel White ("Family Matters") scored at the bottom of the fifth, surpassing the pot after a few field errors that made the crowd in trouble.
With the game linked to 2-2, the crowd became animated.
Team Strong arrived strong and after several teammates hit impressive balls, actress Jaina Lee Ortiz ("Rosewood") crossed the pot, sealing Team Strong's 3-2 win.
Beyond the game
The coordinators said the softball game reached its $ 1 million fund-raising target.
At the event, California Strong presented $ 10,000 checks to five families affected by the filming of Woolsey Fire, Camp Fire and Thousand Oaks. One of these checks went to Brian Hynes, owner of the Borderline Bar & Grill.
Jeremy Seaman, one of the recipients of the check, said his family's home in Kanan Dume Road burned down.
"It's great to receive this help and we're so grateful," said Seaman.
Many players have reflected on personal ties with Malibu, including Sheen, who grew up in Malibu.
"It was devastating to see houses on Point Dume that I've been in my whole life going up in flames and becoming completely unrecognizable," he said. "… I'm all in for all we can do to relieve the stress felt by those affected by the fires and it's wonderful to give them a moment of comfort."
Malibuite Brandon Jenner also reflected on the significance of the event.
"I grew up in Malibu all my life and I saw a handful of fireworks, but nobody was as devastating as this," he said. "This event shows that the greater the tragedy, the greater the humanity, this response from the community is vast".
Jamie Foxx summarized the purpose of the event.
"I'm here to support those who lost everything they've worked in the fires, as well as families who lost their loved ones in the shootings of Thousand Oaks, seven minutes from where I live," Foxx said. . "At times like these, we need all our hands on the bridge.
"… This event should only be the beginning of our supportive victims, and just as athletes make adjustments, people need to make adjustments so that things like the shooting never happen again. we need to move forward as humans and recognize that this is the biggest place in the world and we want to keep it that way. "
Braun is on agreement.
"The most beautiful part of what we are doing is being able to use our platform as a professional athlete to have a positive impact on the lives of other people," he said at the surfside. "We imagine this as an inaugural event so we can maintain momentum and help Californians hit by all the disasters."
Sheen noted that a new tradition was born.
"Based on today's energy and phenomenal attendance, I think we have used something very good," he said.
Those wishing to lend further support to the cause can visit www.ca-strong.com, where an auction is held this week.