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The MLB All-Star Game is coming to D.C. for the first time since 1969 on Tuesday, July 17. More importantly, the All-Star Legends and Celebrity Softball Game will make its District debut. The annual exhibition began in 2001 and will be played on July 15, one day before the Home Run Derby.
Previous celebrities have included actors Chris Pratt and Jamie Foxx, comedians Jimmy Kimmel and Sarah Silverman, musicians Snoop Dogg and Nick Jonas, and a number of former and current sports stars. Foxx, who is set to compete again this year, played in the 2016 game in San Diego against former San Diego Chargers and current New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees and last year at Marlins Park in Miami with Dancing With the Stars runner-up Jason Taylor, a Hall of Fame defensive end from his days with the Miami Dolphins.
D.C. may lack the glitzy star power of Miami or Southern California, but the nation’s capital has plenty of celebrities and celebrity connections. City Paper staffers came up with a dream team of local notables for this year’s edition. Let the games begin. —Kelyn Soong
First base: Austin Scott (actor)
BIO: Scott is currently the lead role in Hamilton at the Kennedy Center but playing in the celebrity game is one of the million things he hasn’t done.
Second base: Dave Chappelle (comedian)
BIO: Chappelle, a 1991 Duke Ellington School of the Arts grad, showed off his And-1 Mixtape moves on the baseball field in a 2003 sketch on Chappelle’s Show.
Third base: Elena Delle Donne (Mystics player)
BIO: Delle Donne, the Mystics’ leading scorer and one of the faces of the WNBA, makes any team she’s on better.
Shortstop: Maury Povich (television host)
BIO: He can turn the game into an actual episode of Maury with free paternity test readings! But seriously, Povich’s father, the legendary sportswriter Shirley Povich, long advocated for baseball’s return to D.C. before he passed away in 1998.
Pitcher: Michelle Obama (former FLOTUS)
BIO: Try to find someone with better arms than the former FLOTUS.
Closer: Chad Cordero (former Nationals player)
BIO: The former Nationals All-Star closer and patron saint of the Island of Misfit Toys-esque ’05 Nats squad can probably still fan opposing batters and just might be able to make Nats Park bounce like RFK did all those years ago.
Catcher: Dave Bautista (actor)
BIO: Why is Bautista? He grew up on K Street SE near the Washington Navy Yard, just blocks away from where the host stadium sits, and no pitcher would want to face the 6-foot-3 action star.
Left field: Gal Gadot (actress)
BIO: Maybe the Wonder Woman star can bring some good luck to Nationals Park, which desperately needs some postseason success.
Center field: Katie Ledecky (swimmer)
BIO: If the D.C. native and longtime Bethesda resident can dominate an Olympic-size pool, she can do the same in the outfield.
Right field: Ruth Bader Ginsburg (Supreme Court Justice)
BIO: The 85-year-old SCOTUS Justice puts in work both in the court and off it with her butt-busting workouts. She can definitely be the angel of this outfield.
Pinch hitter: Jose Andres (chef)
BIO: Because Andres pinch hits when FEMA doesn’t do its job.
Manager: Alex Ovechkin (Capitals player)
BIO: Raising the Stanley Cup over his head for the millionth time would be enough to inspire this team.
Pitching coach: Wale (musician)
BIO: The rapper and former Quince Orchard High School football player, who threw a respectable first pitch at a Nats game in 2013, has already written a song about Bryce Harper. That’s qualification enough.
Pinch runner: Wayne Rooney (D.C. United player)
BIO: He may be past his prime, but soccer players run between seven and 9.5 miles a game, according to STATS SportsVU, so he should be fine covering the bases.