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Richard Sherman, Seahawks draw 22,033 fans for celebrity softball game benefiting Blanket Coverage
It's not how you start, but how you finish.
That Pete Carroll-ism was true for Seahawks cover man Richard Sherman on Sunday afternoon at Safeco Field, where he scored what amounted to be the winning run and recorded the final out at his celebrity softball game benefiting his Blanket Coverage foundation.
More than 22,000 fans turned out for the second-annual event, which last year was held at Tacoma's Cheney Stadium. A portion of the game's proceeds went to the All-Pro corner's charity, which provides school supplies and clothing to low-income communities across America.
The game featured an abundance of Seahawks blue and green, including quarterback Russell Wilson, defensive end Michael Bennett, free safety Earl Thomas, linebacker Bobby Wagner, wide receivers Doug Baldwin and Jermaine Kearse, and more.
Outside of the Seahawks on site, the game wasn't short of all-star talent. Seattle-native hip-hop artist Macklemore, Seattle SuperSonics legends Gary Payton and Shawn Kemp, Denver Nuggets guard Nate Robinson, Los Angeles Clippers guard Jamal Crawford, Portland Trailblazers forward Dorell Wright, and five-time NBA champion and L.A. Lakers guard Kobe Bryant were also in on the festivities benefiting Sherman's foundation.
"It's a humbling experience, just to see the celebrities that came out for the game, showing their respect, giving back, showing their philanthropy," said Sherman. "But also to see the fans, who are always outstanding and always extremely supportive."
Sherman would captain the "Blue Team" while Wilson managed the "Gray Team" in a game that ended 19-17 in favor of Sherman's squad after six and a half innings. It was Bryant who capped off the Blue Team's comeback victory, driving in Sherman for the go-ahead run in the bottom of the sixth. Then, with two outs in the top of the seventh, the Gray Team's Thomas lined a drive to center that was fielded by a crouching Sherman for the game's final out.
"As you can see, to have the star power that we have here today it shows a lot of respect as to who Richard Sherman is," said Wilson. "And everybody who knows who he really is loves what he's all about. That's why I'm here today - I want to support the community as much as I possibly can, support Richard as much as I possibly can."
Former Seahawks and University of Washington safety Lawyer Milloy was awarded game MVP, blasting three home runs in his three at bats. But the real winners on this day are the kids who look to gain from Sherman's support, and from the support of a town that is crazy about showing love for everything their Seahawks represent.
"It shows there's more to life than sports," said Crawford, the Clippers forward who played his high school ball at Seattle's Rainier Beach. "For us, it's a team effort. We all understand we have a role to play and we're here to support Rich. He's a guy that's been real with me since day one. We have conversations that aren't just about sports, but about life in general and how to positively affect our community."
Added Wright, the Blazers forward who grew up childhood friends of Sherman, "I think that's what it's all about - giving back to the community, the kids, and doing it in a positive way."
On Sunday at Safeco Field, that positivity was on full display.