Dirk Nowitzki and Friends Hit the Diamond for 2017 Heroes Celebrity Baseball Game
One of my absolute favorite charity events to cover every year is Dirk Nowitzki’s Heroes Celebrity Baseball Game. Most know Dirk as the future Hall of Fame, 19 year NBA veteran who holds just about every Dallas Mavericks franchise record including career points, three-point field goals, free throws, rebounds, and points in a single game, but Dirk the philanthropist is a special guy too. For 16 years now, Dirk has brought together some of Dallas most elite athletes and celebrities to raise funds and awareness for both the Heroes Foundation and the Dirk Nowitzki Foundation. The game has raised over $4 million in donations benefiting children.
The Heroes Foundation was created in 2005 to help Dallas-area children develop self-confidence, character, and set ambitious goals. During those 12 years, the foundation has helped over 300,000 kids and has sent students to prestigious institutions of higher learning such as Southern Methodist University, Kansas State, Texas State, and the University of Texas, to name just a few.
Through the Dirk Nowitzki Foundation he awards grants every year to organizations supporting children’s wellbeing, health, and education throughout North Texas and across the globe. Past grant recipients include but are not limited to the Make-A-Wish Foundation of North Texas, Child Abuse Prevention Center, Vogel Alcove, Friend’s of Wednesday’s Child, North Texas Food Bank, Community Partners of Dallas, Habitat for Humanity, and Genesis Women’s Shelter & Support. These grants allow the foundation to provide a broad reach of resources to many deserving charitable organizations making a difference in our community.
While the Heroes Celebrity Baseball game is the main event for the day, the highlight for me is the Heroes Special Olympics All-Star Softball Game played just prior to the first pitch. It’s great fun watching the Special Olympics participants compete on the diamond with their parents, volunteers, fans, and elite athletes cheering them on from the sidelines.
The 2017 Heroes game will start with a touching and unique moment as former Dallas Police Chief David Brown will throw out the first pitch as families of the fallen officers and injured officers from the July 7, 2016, attack will be in attendance and honored.
The line-up for this year’s game, which is subject to change, is as follows:
- Dirk Nowitzki (Dallas Mavericks MVP and 2011 NBA champion)
- Dak Prescott (Dallas Cowboys quarterback)
- Andy Roddick (tennis legend and 2003 US Open champion)
- Dez Bryant (Dallas Cowboys wide receiver)
- Dan Bailey (Dallas Cowboys kicker)
- La’el Collins (Dallas Cowboys offensive lineman)
- Ezekiel Elliott (Dallas Cowboys running back)
- Rico Gathers (Dallas Cowboys tight end)
- Byron Jones (Dallas Cowboys defensive back)
- Darren McFadden (Dallas Cowboys running back)
- Tyron Smith (Dallas Cowboys offensive tackle)
- J.J. Barea (Dallas Mavericks guard)
- Seth Curry (Dallas Mavericks guard)
- Yogi Ferrell (Dallas Mavericks guard)
- Dorian Finney-Smith (Dallas Mavericks forward)
- AJ Hammons (Dallas Mavericks center)
- Devin Harris (Dallas Mavericks point guard)
- DeAndre Liggins (Dallas Mavericks guard)
- Salah Mejri (Dallas Mavericks center)
- Dwight Powell (Dallas Mavericks forward)
- Jarrod Uthoff (Dallas Mavericks forward)
- Rick Carlisle (Dallas Mavericks head coach and 2011 NBA champion) – team manager
- Donnie Nelson (Dallas Mavericks president and GM) – team manager
- Walker Zimmerman (FC Dallas player) – team manager
- Chris Seitz (FC Dallas goalkeeper)
- Chris Harris Jr. (Denver Broncos cornerback)
- Geoff Stults (actor of TV series The Odd Couple and upcoming movie Granite Mountain)
- Tim Brown (NFL Hall of Fame wide receiver)
- Ryan Drese (former MLB pitcher)
- Ben Grieve (former MLB outfielder)
- Kevin Mench (former MLB outfielder)
- David Murphy (former Texas Rangers player)
- Errol Spence Jr. (IBF Welterweight world champion)
- Marty Turco (former Dallas Stars goalie)
- Michael Young (former Texas Rangers player)
- Mike Bacsik (former MLB pitcher and current co-host of The G-Bag Nation on 3 The Fan)
- Jody Dean (host of Jody Dean & The Morning Team on 98.7 KLUV)
- Ben Rogers (co-host of The Ben & Skin Show on 105.3 The Fan)
- Jeff “Skin” Wade (co-host of The Ben & Skin Show on 105.3 The Fan and Dallas Mavericks TV analyst)
The many fans, coaches, teammates, and friends who have interacted with Dirk Nowitzki throughout his storied NBA career know what an amazing athlete he is, but his work off the court truly sets him apart. Dirk goes to great lengths to ensure the success of his charitable endeavors, and I have no doubt this year’s Heroes Celebrity Baseball Game will be spectacular.
Tickets can still be purchased and range in price from $9 to $22 and are on sale at TicketReturn (972-334-1993 or ticketreturn.com) or at the Dr Pepper Ballpark Box Office during office hours. Will call will open at 10 a.m. on Saturday, June 24. Tickets also will be available at the door (if the event is not sold out). Parking for the general public will be available at Lots A, B, E and F for $10.