The Jeff Fisher & Friends 2008 Annual Charity Softball Game
was held at Greer Stadium
on June 28th, and, by any measurable criteria, it was a resounding success. Portions of the proceeds benefit various local charities, including Mercy Ministries
, Second Harvest Food Bank
, Catch-A-Dream, and Soles4Souls
Two days before the game, a VIP and Celebrity Auction was held at Ferguson Bath Kitchen & Lighting Gallery
. Items up for bid included autographed sports memorabilia, flat-panel televisions, airline tickets, jewelry, local artwork and special gift packages. Bidding was very competitive, and the results were impressive. The catered affair drew a large number of attendees, including Titans Coach Jeff Fisher and several Titans players.
Saturday's festivities began with a game between two youth league baseball teams from La Vergne, the Cardinals and the Rangers. Fittingly, the game ended in a tie, with both teams enjoying the chance to play on the Sounds' home field.
Over twenty current Titans players and nearly a dozen friends and former players donated their time and energy to suit up for this annual event. Considering that the Titans had just finished their Organized Team Activities the day before, Coach Fisher was very vocal in his appreciation for their efforts. The athletes spent a great deal of their time signing autographs, posing for photographs and talking with the fans.
The Hit it Out of the Park contest, a home run hitting challenge, attracted numerous contestants from the Titans roster, past and present. Titans center Kevin Mawae looked to have the contest wrapped up, having hit three balls out of the park. However, Titans veteran Chris Sanders, had other ideas. Sanders knocked four pitches over the wall, sewing up the victory for the former wide receiver.
The ceremonial first pitch was thrown by former Marine Lance Corporal Ryan Autery. Ryan Autrey was wounded in Iraq, losing his left arm below the elbow. Coach Fisher chose Ryan to honor the service of all our military men and women.
Prior to the start of the game, Coach Fisher boldly predicted that his team would continue its undefeated streak against Special Teams Coach Alan Lowry. That streak looked in jeopardy as Coach Fisher's team quickly fell behind by six runs, capped by an inside-the-park grand slam by fullback Ahmad Hall. With the help of some subtle subterfuge, Coach Fisher's team drew ever closer. Twice, his opponents took the field to start an inning, only to see the bases already occupied by non-roster players. One inning the bases were filled with mascots (Ozzie, T-Rac and Gnash); in another, they were occupied by Titans cheerleaders (providing yet another distraction to the fielders). A five-run home run (yes - a five-run homer) brought Coach Fisher's team within one run of tying the score. To give his team more time to catch up, Coach Fisher announced that an extra inning would be played.
Unfortunately for Coach Fisher, his team was unable to make up the difference, and, for the first time ever, Coach Lowry's team was victorious, winning with a final score of 14-12. After the game, Coach Fisher [resented awards to two of the players. Former Titan Chris Sanders was named the game's Most Valuable Player. Current Titans kicker Rob Bironas was named the player least likely to be named MVP.
During the game, an additional silent auction was held, raising even more money for the charities. Drawings were also held for door prizes. One lucky fan won two round-trip tickets for any Southwest Airlines flight, and another received a new Nintendo Wii game console. The evening concluded with a fireworks spectacle that was well-received by those in attendance. Overall, it was a great night for the fans, and a great night for the charities. This annual event is just one of the ways that the Titans have embraced Nashville, and it shows why this town has such great love and respect for the Titans organization
Tickets are on normally put on sale through the Nashville Sounds
ticket office. Article Written & Submitted by Garry Duncan