Country Stars Step Up to the Plate for City of Hope
From ‘Idol’s to athletes, Nashville’s finest came out Saturday (June 11) to help the City of Hope strike out cancer. Vince Gill, ‘American Idol‘ winner Scotty McCreery and runner-up Lauren Alaina, Dierks Bentley, David Nail, Jake Owen, Joe Nichols, Chuck Wicks, Jaron and the Long Road to Love, Tennessee Titans players Kerry Collins and Rob Bironas, Nashville Predators Blake Geoffrion and Nick Spaling and more hit the field, split up into two teams: the Grand Ole Opry versus AfterMidnite With Blair Garner. This year’s game raised more than $100,000 for the City of Hope with more than 5,000 attendees.
The AfterMidnite crew, which included David Nail, beat the the Vince Gill-led Grand Ole Opry team 9-5. However, that’s no surprise when you know the AfterMidnite team’s strategy: “Win!” David told The Boot prior to the game. “I was on AfterMidnite last year, and there’s a lot of the same guys on it this year. We take this serious, probably a little more than we should. That’s probably the man in us.”
Although, before making their way to the diamond, Grand Ole Opry player Brett Eldredge wasn’t concerned. “I’m not too worried, we got guys like David Nail on the other team who like to claim that they’re Cardinals fans,” Brett explained. “I’m a big Cubs fan. I love baseball. I’m going to show him what the Cubs are made of.”
If that wasn’t enough pressure, David had some important people cheering him on. “My parents drove in from Missouri last night,” he explained. “I can’t believe my mom is going to sit in this heat. The pressure is on. My dad expects a very high standard of athletic ability, so we’ll see if I can disappoint him. [laughs]”
Brett was also in awe of the fans who braved the scorching temperatures. “I’m definitely going to jump in a pool after this game,” he said with a laugh.
While David and Brett kept it light, James Wesley, who was also on the winning team, had his eye on the prize. “We’ve got some great people out here for the City of Hope,” James said. “It’s coming out here and bringing people out to raise money for a great cause. There are so many people who are dealing with [illness]. It would be awesome to find a cure for it, that’s what it’s all about. I’m happy to be a part of it.”
His teammate Julie Roberts agreed. “Everybody is winning,” she admitted. “We’re winning for City of Hope today. I’m here to have fun.”
In the City of Hope Celebrity Softball game’s 21 year history, more than $2 million has been raised for the organization.