FRISCO – Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott was named the Most Valuable Player as the Blue Sox defeated the White Sox, 17-10, on Friday night at Dirk Nowitzki’s 2019 Celebrity Baseball Game.
It was the eighth straight year that Nowitzki has hosted this game, which was played before a sellout crowd of 11,741 at Dr Pepper Ballpark.
The following are the Top 10 highlights from Friday’s game:
10. The Blue Sox erupted for eight runs in the top of the ninth inning to assume a commanding 17-3 lead. Dallas Cowboys offensive lineman Joe Looney started the huge rally with a double to right centerfield, and two pitches later running back Ezekiel Elliott banged a run-scoring double to almost the same spot. Mitch Abeita brought home Elliott with a triple.
9. Dirk Nowitzki led off the bottom of the first by tapping a slow roller near shortstop to Dwight Powell. After picking up the ball, Powell laughed when he noticed that Nowitzki was still standing at home plate. Powell apparently had forgotten that Leo McDaniel was pinch-running for Nowitzki. McDaniel was safe at first – without a throw coming from Powell. The crowd, Powell, Nowitzki and the rest of the players all laughed. Then in his last at-bat in the ninth inning, Nowitzki drove in a run with a solid single to left field.
8. In the bottom of the fifth, former Texas Rangers star Rafael Palmeiro got hit by a pitch thrown by Brian Bern. But since batters who were hit by a pitch had to continue batting, Palmeiro shrugged it off and then slugged a long home-run length shot down the right field line – but the ball wound up being foul. Bern almost hit Palmeiro again. Then the left-handed hitting Palmeiro switched sides and decided to bat right-handed. However, after seeing just one pitch from Bern, Palmeiro switched back to hitting left-handed and flied out to deep center field.
7. During one sequence, Mavericks guard Devin Harris almost took out Nowitzki. While playing second base, Harris received a potential double-play ball from Dallas Cowboys quarterback and shortstop Dak Prescott for the first out. But when Harris turned to relay the ball to Nowitzki for the possible second out at first base, the 14-time All-Star wasn’t even looking. The ball skirted past Nowitzki, who then went to the mound and started pitching. Geoff Stults popped Nowitzki’s fifth pitch into left field for a single, and then Nowitzki went back to playing first base, where he smiled and hugged Stults.
6. Joe Looney may be a big man, but the 6-3, 309-pounder wasn’t shy about showing off his dance moves. Looney got Dale Burleson out on a force-play at third base, then drew cheers when he did a little shimmy. But that was only the beginning. Shortly thereafter, Looney won a dance-off with Bull Moose, the mascot for the Frisco Roughriders.
5. Ezekiel Elliott bounced a dribbler to shortstop that Dak Prescott couldn’t handle, and the Cowboys running back sprinted to the bag to load the bases with two outs in the top of the sixth. Mitch Abeita then drove in two runs to give the Blue Sox a 3-1 lead. Scott Podsednik proceeded to drive in Elliott for a 4-1 lead. Elliott, who was impressive all night, wound up being named the game’s Most Valuable Player.
4. In the bottom of the ninth inning, Arlington Bowie High School product Vernon Wells put on a batting clinic. The three-time Major League Baseball All-Star slapped a two-run homer run. And after Dak Prescott tripled, everyone agreed to allow Wells to bat again, and he didn’t disappoint. After banging a long foul ball down the left field line, Wells slammed a solid single to left to drive in Prescott.
3. Before the game, Dwight Powell was asked if he was going to hit one or two home runs. Well, the Mavs’ center wound up with one homer. And it was an inside-the-park homer that put the Blue Sox up 5-2 in the top of the seventh. Powell drilled the ball to deep left center field and barely beat the relay throw to home plate.
2. Before the bottom of the fourth started, Texas senator Royce West gave Mavs owner Mark Cuban a proclamation, thanking him for what he’s done on the south side of Dallas in creating jobs and other endeavors for the less fortunate. West also told Cuban: “I’ve got a deal for you on Shark Tank.” Cuban is one of the entrepreneurs on the popular television show.
1. West also gave Nowitzki a proclamation. “We have a very special recognition for a very special Texan,” West said. “Let’s give Dirk a standing ovation for a job well done.” When the crowd gave Nowitzki a loud standing ovation, West said: “You can do better than that.” The crowd got louder. West then said: “Dirk you belong to Dallas. Yes, I know you belong to (wife) Jessica. also. . .On behalf of the state of Texas, I present you this proclamation, and also a flag will be flown over the capital (in Austin) on the day you retire.” From there, the crowd took over and started wildly chanting: “MVP, MVP, MVP!”