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Legends, celebrities to hit diamond
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05/27/2004  5:24 AM ET
Legends, celebrities to hit diamond
Softball game returns as part of All-Star festivities
tickets for any Major League Baseball game
Ozzie Smith will be among the Legends playing in a softball game as part of the All-Star festivities at Minute Maid Park. (Nick Wass/AP)

Ozzie Smith will be among those returning for the 2004 Legends and Celebrity softball game July 11 as part of the All-Star Game festivities at Minute Maid Park in Houston, and he already knows what to expect.

It is a bunch of entertainers who wish they were athletes, a bunch of athletes who wish they were entertainers, and a bunch of fans who couldn't care less as long as they get to see all of them in the same setting for an unpredictable show.

"It's one of those things where they would rather be doing what we're doing and we'd rather be doing what they're doing," Smith said of last year's event, when asked which group of invitees were more awestruck by the other group.

The final score of this game is, well, absolutely meaningless. The fun is the fun part. This format has been part of the Midsummer Classic events since 2001, and you never know just quite what to expect

2004 All-Star Sunday

"I think our players like it and the celebrities like it, and both groups obviously like hanging out with each other," said Brian O'Gara, Senior Director of Special Events for Major League Baseball. "The fans are always interested in seeing some of the great former players and they're curious as to which celebrities might be baseball fans. You get to see the celebrities in a different light out there on the baseball field, having a good time. It has become a popular event during the All-Star schedule."

Legends scheduled to appear include Hall of Famers Ozzie Smith, Dave Winfield, Ernie Banks and Rollie Fingers. There also will be a local Houston flavor with the roster addition of three former Astros All-Stars: Larry Dierker (also Houston's past manager), Mike Scott and Cesar Cedeno. ESPN analyst and former big-leaguer Harold Reynolds is confirmed, and Will Clark -- the boy from the bayou not far away -- will be in uniform as well.

In 1986, Scott won the National League West division title for the Astros by pitching a no-hitter -- against Clark and the Giants. On that Oct. 2, Scott lost his bid for a second consecutive no-hitter when Clark doubled in the seventh inning. Trivia experts also will recall that Clark homered in his first Major League at-bat earlier that season -- off Houston's Nolan Ryan.

Celebrities scheduled to appear include ABC late-night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel, actor Matthew Modine (who recently played the role of Honus Wagner in TNT's movie "That Winning Season"), singer Nick Lachey (no word on Jessica), former Phi Slamma Jamma star Clyde Drexler, swimsuit model/show host Brooke Burke, and Bill Rancic -- recent winner of the TV smash "The Apprentice."

Mark Newman is enterprise editor for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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