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Old 09-08-2013, 10:42 AM
BainesHOF BainesHOF is offline
WSI Church Elder
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Oak Park, IL
Posts: 3,540
Default Larry A. Pogofsky Chicago All-Star Softball Challenge

Anyone else go to this?

It was a pretty good event, especially considering it was for charity. I expected it to be sparsely attended, but the crowd was somewhat respectable and even enthusiastic. I thought the kids attending the clinic got their parents' money's worth. They ran 'em through different stations for a full hour before the game.

The game itself was slightly amusing. The Cubs killed the Sox. It was like 14-2 before I left a little early. The lopsidedness started immediately. Jamie Moyer was pitching for the Cubs and he pitched like a pro 12-inch player with a high arc and spin. It may have looked harmless from the stands, but Moyer knew what he was doing. He struck out leadoff man Tony Phillips and the Sox swung and missed a lot, which is something you don't usually see at a charity softball game. Not having batting practice didn't help matters. On the flip side, Scott Eyre (who was moved to the Sox team to balance out the rosters) pitched meatballs to Cubs hitters, who walloped some balls, most notably Jon Lieber, of all people, and Gary Matthews, Jr. Then, strangely, Frank Thomas started pitching in the second or third inning and was throwing the ball erratically and with little arc. He stayed on the mound for the rest of the game, too.

I went there as a collector and most players were rather easy to get an autograph from with a little patience before the game. I got Phillips to sign one of his old helmets, and got balls signed by Carlos Lee and James Baldwin. Like some others, I was disappointed that Ordonez, Dye, Durham, Politte and even Kittle were no-shows. With events like these, you really don't know if the players just blew it off or had a legitimate reason to bail, or if event organizers/promoters jumped the gun and advertised those players before receiving a firm commitment. It was a little weird that the no-shows came on the Sox side considering Pogofsky owned a piece of the Sox.

I won my ticket on the Score so it was more than worth it from my perspective. My guess is those who bought $15 GA tickets would probably say the same thing. Not sure about those who spent $50 for a VIP ticket, which included a postgame barbecue, and $75 for the kids clinic would say the same thing. I heard after the game fans went on the field for more autographs so the event was pretty accommodating for collectors.
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