BY PETER HAILEY
This coming Saturday night, June 6th, area sports fans will have a chance to see some current and former NFL stars take their talents away from the gridiron and onto the diamond in the 2015 Comcast SportsNet Amputee Warrior Softball Classic.
The event, which benefits charities that assist wounded veterans, will feature two teams with rosters of NFL players and members of the Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball Team. Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins and Ravens tight end Dennis Pitta will manage their own squads, while 49ers front seven members Darnell Dockett and NaVorro Bowman will be the team captains.
The Classic is sure to be a fun event and clearly supports a good cause, but it will also provide fans a unique chance to see football players try to adapt to the game of softball. We already have a decent idea of how these guys act on the field on Sundays, but what are they like when they trade in their helmets and pads for bats and gloves? Possible questions that may be answered during the game include:
-How does Kirk Cousins manage a bullpen? Sure, he can command an NFL huddle, but can he successfully navigate pressure packed end of game situations and bring in the right guys at the right times?
-Is Niles Paul as physical on the base paths as he is with a football in his hands? For instance, what will happen when he has a chance to break up a double play? Will #84 aggressively slide in to second base, or opt to tackle the infielder altogether?
-How will Tress Way, a man who's known for making punt returners track balls that are sent sky high, fare when the tables are turned and he's the one forced to get under fly balls in the outfield?
-And finally, can Brian Mitchell run and cut around the bases as easily as he did back as a special teams ace for the Redskins? (Also worth asking: Will Brian Mitchell be as talkative on the field as he is in his work with Comcast SportsNet?)
All of the players listed above are scheduled to appear in the event, as well as current Redskins Ricky Jean-Francois, Silas Redd, Will Compton, Tom Compton, Nick Sundberg, Kai Forbath, Kedric Golston, Trent Robinson, Colt McCoy, and Shawn Lauvao, plus former burgundy and gold members Shawn Springs and Doug Williams. Ravens wide receiver Mike Campanaro is also expected to participate.
First pitch is set for 7 p.m. at Prince George's Stadium in Bowie, Maryland, but the gates will open at 6. Charities that stand to benefit from the proceedings include the Yellow Ribbon Fund, Connected Warrior Foundation, Disabled Sports USA, Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball Team and Operation Second Chance. Tickets for the game can be found at csnwashington.com/softball.