Through the 17 years that Dirk Nowitzki has hosted the Heroes Celebrity Baseball Game, the fans in Frisco, Texas have seen a handful of big name athletes and celebrities touch the baseball diamond.
In past years, from Tony Romo and Jason Witten to a reunion of the Big 3 with Steve Nash and Michael Finley, the Dallas sports fans have seen some of their favorites take the field. This year, the headliners consisted of Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliot, who both received a thundering applause during team introductions, along with numerous Cowboys and Mavericks players.
But this year was a little different. The real heroes on the field Friday night were three victims from the Santa Fe High School shooting on May 18th.
Rome Shubert, Trent Beazley, and Noah Silva, though injured in the shooting, in which 10 people were killed, were blessed and fortunate enough to come away from that day still alive.
Shubert, a University of Houston baseball commit, was shot in the back of the head during the attack. By the grace of God, the bullet went in and came out clean, leaving Rome “completely okay.”
“It’s really great seeing all these people out here with all the support,” Shubert explained following the pregame press conference. “They’re showing their support for us and their support for everybody. It’s pretty awesome to be out here.”
Trent Beazley, Schubert’s teammate on the Santa Fe baseball team, was shot in the ribs, leaving him sidelined for several weeks due to a blood clot. For Noah Silva, he was hit in the backside and remains in a wheelchair, though is expected to make a full recovery.
So, how does one, especially a teenager, cope with such a traumatic event? With the game they love.
“Baseball,” Beazley said. “The day I got released, I went to the baseball field,”
Mavericks owner Mark Cuban expressed his gratitude and upmost admiration for the three young men at the press conference leading up to the game. “We wanted to really show our appreciation and how much we care. I know it’s been a rough patch for you guys but hopefully we can have some fun together and really enjoy it. You get to hang with these guys and show them who the real stars are.”
Shubert, a pitcher at Santa Fe High School, threw out the first pitch while surrounded by some of the best professional athletes in the world. Beazley, his teammate and catcher at Santa Fe, stood at home plate and caught the pitch.
In his 17th year as the face of the Heroes charity game, Dirk knows just how important this event has become for the community and the people involved. “Obviously, a charity baseball game, it’s unbelievable so we as a group up here don’t take that for granted,” Dirk stated before the game at Dr. Pepper Ballpark.
In regards to the game, it was surprisingly a slugfest. For mostly basketball and football players, these athletes sure knew how to put the bat on the ball. Or maybe it was the lackluster defense but nonetheless, an exciting game indeed and surely a breath of fresh air for the Santa Fe students.
The Blue Sox took home the trophy in a 13-7 victory, led by Cowboys legend DeMarcus Ware, who knocked in a handful of runs, earning him MVP honors.
“The fan support, the support from the community, the local celebs and the celebrities that fly in from all over the country; we’re really humbled,” Nowitzki voiced his gratefulness for the support from the fans and his celebrity friends.
Humbled indeed, Dirk. Humbled indeed.
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