Celebrities showing up in Wichita to hang with NBC baseball buddies – Wichita Eagle
It turns out the big baseball stars in Wichita for the National Baseball Congress tournament aren’t the only celebrities hanging out at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.
A few of their non-athlete celebrity friends have been showing up, too.
On Saturday night, “Duck Dynasty” star Willie Robertson was all over the field, throwing out the first pitch clowning around with buddy Adam LaRoche, one of the organizers of an All Star team of 26 retired major-league players appearing at the tournament. Robertson and Adam LaRoche both appear on “Buck Commander,” a reality show on the Outdoor Channel that follows six famous buddies on their hunting adventures.
And tonight (Monday, Aug. 8), country star Toby Keith will be on the field, throwing out the first pitch and later signing autographs with the ball players. Keith and Roger Clemens are notorious buddies, frequently spotted hanging around together.
Rumors also are flying that two other famous “Buck Commanders” – country stars Luke Bryan and Jason Aldean – might make surprise appearances at the games, though no one can say for sure.
“I think it’s a possibility, but I don’t have confirmation for it,” said Kevin Jenks, the director of the NBC tournament.
Fans went crazy when Robertson appeared on field on Saturday, said Jenks, who got some time to talk with the reality television star behind the scenes.
“I was on the field before he made the first pitch, and when our PA announcer announced him to the crowd, that’s the loudest I’ve ever heard our crowd,” he said. “It gave me a chill.”
Keith, a country singer known for hits like “Red Solo Cup” and “Beer for my Horses,” not only will throw out the first pitch but also might be persuaded to play in Monday’s game, Jenks said.
When the game is over, Keith and the baseball stars will sign autographs in the Miller Light Pavilion at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium. Fans who have tickets to tonight’s game must purchase tickets to the autograph sessions, too, and proceeds will go to the teams playing at the NBC and to other charities.
A source with the All Star team, who asked not to be named, said that Bryan and Aldean were checking their schedules to see if they could make it to a game, but neither had been able to confirm they’d come.
The Kansas Stars team was put together by LaRoche and Nate Robertson and also includes Clemens, Tim Hudson and Josh Beckett. On Saturday, the All Stars team defeated the Sterling (Colo.) Xpress 8-0 in front of a sellout crowd of 7,000 at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.
The Stars will play again at 7 p.m. tonight and at the same time on Wednesday. Tickets to tonight’s games are sold out, and there are standing-room-only tickets available for Wednesday. They’re available at selectaseat.com or by calling 316-977-9400.
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