By Jason Gonzalez: Special To nysportsday.com
And after it was all said and done Team Strahan got the last laugh in the home that Derek Jeter built Thursday night at Yankee Stadium. After bombing on Team Sabathia atomically, 8-2, Team Strahan earned the right to hoist the trophy at the end of the night.
For the second consecutive year, Yankee pitcher and future hall-of-famer C.C. Sabathia, alongside his wife, Amber, hosted the PitcchInn Celebrity Softball game. Fortunately for everyone in attendance, there were no signs of gray clouds and the weather held up.
Sabathia, the newest member of the 3,000-strikeout club, and the third lefty to accomplish the feat, put his squad that consisted of Fat Joe, Johnny Damon, Charles Oakley, and Action Bronson just to name a few against the team of former New York Giant defensive end and Kelly Ripa sidekick, Michael Strahan.
“We came here to win,” said Strahan. “We stomped them [Team Sabathia] out. That’s all I have to say about that.” When asked about the recent moves that the New York Jets made, Strahan replied, “Who?” which brought the crowd to laughter.
In the first inning, Damon, a former Yankee himself, hit a two-run homer that brought Bronson [both pitcher and Queens rapper] home, giving Team Sabathia the early lead [2-0]. One of the highlights of the game was when former New York Jet center and former New York Knick power forward Charles Oakley collided at first base. Mangold was playing first, and Oakley was trying to outrun a grounder.
Fast forwarding to the fourth inning, former Yankee Andruw Jones hit a monster shot that went over the barrier fence in the short outfield and into the seats in left field. With Team Strahan on the board, the momentum shifted. The rally continued when Giants wide receiver Golden Tate, Giants tight end Evan Engram, and rapper Wavesongianni hit three consecutive doubles. At this juncture Team Strahan took the lead by a score of 3-2.
By then the onslaught continued. Hamilton actor Christopher Jackson hit a single that increased Team Strahan’s lead to 4-2. Relief pitcher and close associate of “Pecas” from Roc Nation, Santiago Jimenez hit another single that pushed their lead to 5-2.
Future hall-of-famer Carlos Beltran contributed with a solo blast over the short fence in the outfield making it 6-2. Yankee employee Matt Nimer, as well Sabathia’s assistant, Michael Palmer collectively closed the lid on Team Sabathia, when they hit back-to-back long balls, again over the shortened fence extending their lead to 8-2.
Two most valuable player awards were distributed at the conclusion of the game to members of both teams. Jones grabbed the MVP for Team Strahan, while Damon was awarded the MVP for Team Sabathia.
“It’s been incredible the last two years,” Sabathia said with regards to the event. “Thank you to the Steinbrenner family, as well as the Yankee foundation, the Yankee organization for supporting me and Amber. Just thank you to everybody for coming out, all the celebrities. We had a great turnout and it’s been a good night. “
The PitCCIn Foundation was established in 2008. It is an organization that focuses on helping the youth in the inner cities become successful in life by assisting them to become the best that they can be.