They may not be movie or television stars, but a couple of famous Kansas City athletes were added Thursday to the Big Slick Celebrity Weekend guest roster.
Royals Hall of Fame pitcher Bret Saberhagen and Chiefs Hall of Fame tight end Tony Gonzalez will take part in the fun on June 1 and 2 in the annual fundraiser for the Cancer Center at Children’s Mercy hospital.
Charissa Thompson of Fox Sports also joined the burgeoning list of celebrities who were invited by hosts Paul Rudd, Jason Sudeikis, Eric Stonestreet, Rob Riggle and David Koechner.
Gonzalez, who was added to the Chiefs Hall of Fame in February, set team records for catches (916), receiving yards (10,940) and receiving touchdowns (76) in his 12 seasons with the team (1997-2008). He made 10 Pro Bowl appearances and was a first-team All-Pro five times before playing five more seasons with the Atlanta Falcons. He currently works as a studio analyst for Fox Sports. This will be his first Big Slick appearance.
Saberhagen won two Cy Young Awards with the Royals (1985 and 1989) and was the 1985 World Series MVP when he had a 0.50 ERA and pitched two complete games against the St. Louis Cardinals. In eight seasons with the Royals, Saberhagen had a 110-78 record with a 3.21 ERA and 14 shutouts. He was a Big Slick guest in 2016.
Thompson, coming for her first Big Slick, is a host of Fox's "NFL Kickoff" and has previously worked on the entertainment news magazine "Extra" and at ESPN.
Rich Eisen of the NFL Network will be broadcasting his sports talk show "The Rich Eisen Show" from Kauffman Stadium on June 1 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., and the five Big Slick co-hosts will be guests, as will some of the weekend celebrities.
Big Slick raised $1.75 million last year and a total of $6.2 million since it began in 2010 as a charity poker event.
As part of the weekend, there will be three events open to the public:
▪ The celebrity softball game at Kauffman Stadium is at 5 p.m. June 1. Fans with a ticket to that night's Royals-A's game can come early to watch the celebrity game. If you purchase a ticket at royals.com/bigslick, $5 goes to the charity.
▪ A bowling tournament at Pinstripes in the Prairiefire shopping center in Overland Park on June 2. Tickets are $2,500 through bigslickkc.org. But there's no charge for the outdoor block party from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., which includes the celebrity red carpet arrival.
▪ A party and charity auction will be held at 7 p.m. June 2 at the Arvest Bank Theatre at the Midland. A visit to the set of Rudd's "Ant-Man and the Wasp" movie and Stonestreet's "Modern Family" TV show are among the items up for bid. Tickets are sold out.