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Kevin Faulk and the Patriots' Pitch for Charity

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Kevin Faulk and the Patriots pitch in for charity
Kevin Faulk and the Patriots pitch in for charity

What a terrific Patriots game Saturday night! 

Satisfying our need for an early off-season Patriots fix, a group of us attended Kevin Faulk's 3rd annual Celebrity Softball game Saturday night at Brockton's Campanelli Field.  Watching the Bruschi-led Patriots Blue Team vs. the Faulk-led Patriots Red Team, it was a win-win for everyone involved - the hooting, whistling and cheering fans, the players goofing around enjoying themselves, and the United Way's Massachusetts and Louisiana chapters that benefited financially from the fun-filled evening.

The size of some players is astounding and Vince Wilfork is simply the largest man on the team by far.  O-Liners Stephen Neal, Nick Kaczur, Russ Hochstein and Wesley Britt each have volleyball-sized calves and that's not much of an exaggeration.  When introduced, these big men barely managed an awkward shuffle from the dugout to the field, making it a good thing they could hit because it was obvious these guys were built for strength, not speed.  Blue-shirted Sammy Morris and red-shirted Jerod Mayo served as the umpires - but neither mastery of the rules nor objectivity seemed to be qualifications for the job.  Plenty of good-natured altercations arose over umpiring decisions, and players from both sides looked for opportunities to clear the benches, rush the field and maybe tackle an outfielder or two. 

Wilfork won the hitting contest, and Jonathan Wilhite easily won the dance-off against Antwain Spann.  Tully Banta-Cain was beaten in a Patriots trivia contest when he didn't know which player had the nickname "Slot Machine," and athletic Kevin O'Connell, hampered by several teammates, lost a race around the bases against a young fan.

The highlight of the night for me was in watching a relaxed group of our players having fun with each other and hanging out, coming together as a team for a good cause. 

2009 Softball Rosters

Blue Team

Harold Nash, James Sanders, Tedy Bruschi, Kevin O'Connell, Gary Guyton, Pierre Woods, Stephen Neal, Nick Kaczur, Joe Andruzzi, Tully Banta-Cain, Kenny Smith, Sammy Morris.

Red Team

Jonathan Wilhite, Brandon Meriweather, Antwain Spann, Stephen Gostkowski, Ray Ventrone, Kevin Faulk, Vince Wilfork, Jerod Mayo, BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Patrick Pass, Sam Aiken, Laurence Maroney, Russ Hochstein, Wesley Britt, Matt Gutierrez, Adalius Thomas.

** Not that it really matters, but the Red Team won 6-5 after 5 innings.