Big Slick organizers billed it as a softball game. But when Will Forte was trying to round third, it sure looked like football: He was immediately tackled.
The former “Saturday Night Live” star soon found his footing and ran home to score.
“I have never seen baseball like this. Ever. Ever. Ever,” said “Today” show host Al Roker, who served as umpire behind home plate.
And so it went at Friday afternoon’s celebrity softball game at Kauffman Stadium, where hometown hosts Paul Rudd, Rob Riggle, Eric Stonestreet and David Koechner — along with dozens of celebrity guests — braved the heat and brought publicity to their fundraiser for Children’s Mercy hospital.
(Host Jason Sudeikis couldn’t make it because of a commitment on a movie set.)
“It’s a cool 127 degrees here on the field,” Rudd said at one point.
When starting lineups were introduced on the big screen, Chiefs great Tony Gonzalez got by far the biggest applause.
He soon hit a line drive down the third base line, allowing Haley Joel Osment of “The Sixth Sense” to score. But the crowd was surprised he didn’t hit the ball over the fence — a temporary barrier set up just past the infield.
Meanwhile, Sporting KC star Matt Besler — a graduate of Blue Valley West — had no trouble smashing a three-run homer.
Some of the players had their names emblazoned on their jerseys. But many got a bit creative.
Angela Kinsey of “The Office” had “Tiny Kinz” on her jersey. Robert Smigel of Triumph the Insult Comic Dog fame simply had “Someone” on his.
Rudd’s jersey said “Howser,” paying tribute to 1985 World Series coach Dick Howser. David Cook, the “American Idol” winner from Blue Springs, honored former second baseman Cookie Rojas.
CNN journalist Jake Tapper’s jersey said: “The Truth.” And Riggle had “Big Slick IX,” seeing that this is the ninth Big Slick since he helped launch the fundraiser in 2010.
In the end, the two teams tied 13-13 — but that was sort of an arbitrary score from game announcer Koechner.
“There were some phantom runs there by both teams,” Koechner said.
But the commitment to the game was real.
Big Slick continues with two more events on Saturday:
▪ The free block party from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. outside Pinstripes in Prairiefire in Overland Park. Celebrities are expected to arrive on the red carpet around 9:15 a.m. before heading in to the sold-out bowling tournament.
▪ The charity auction at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Arvest Bank Theatre at the Midland is sold out. But anyone can bid at bigslickkc.org on some auction items.