Aging stars have their day at Legends and Celebrity Softball Game

Former All Stars Dwight Gooden, Bernie Williams, Fred Lynn and Frank Thomas talked about playing in the celebrity softball game at Citi Field Sunday afternoon. Videojournalist: Robert Cassidy (July 14, 2013)

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After the prospects left the field following Sunday's All-Star Futures Game, Citi Field was taken over by an interesting assemblage of former baseball players and current celebrities for the Legends and Celebrity Softball Game.

There was the former Mets quartet of Mike Piazza, Darryl Strawberry, Dwight Gooden and John Franco. There was former Yankee Bernie Williams, who was booed during introductions.

There were Hall of Famers Ozzie Smith, Rollie Fingers, Andre Dawson and Rickey Henderson (a former Met who wore his Oakland A's cap).

Celebrities included George Lopez, Alyssa Milano and radio personalities Boomer Esiason and Craig Carton, the latter of whom was booed throughout (probably because of his Yankees cap, right?)

The star of the game (non-former players division) was TV and movie star Kevin James, a true blue-and-orange Mets fan.

James, who is carrying a few more pounds than in his "King of Queens" days, made a headfirst dive into second base on a particularly entertaining double. For that, and for generally being a stand-up guy, he was named co-MVP along with Wounded Warrior Josh Wege, who homered.

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Piazza hit a home run (off possible future Hall of Famer Frank Thomas). Thomas and Williams homered off USA softball star pitcher Jennie Finch, who was lobbing them in there (except for a few fast pitches she threw at Carton).

Esiason, Carton's WFAN morning show partner and a former star NFL quarterback, was doubled off second base when he forgot how many outs there were on Gooden's fly ball to right.

Franco, who declined to pitch even when Finch offered to step aside if he wanted to close the game, had two singles and made two catches in left-centerfield. "One of them caught me," Franco said.

Seeing Franco, Piazza, Strawberry and Gooden together on the same field had to be a nice moment for Mets fans.

"As a kid growing up, I remember the Mets used to have the Old-Timers' Day," Franco said. "I wish they would bring it back. I think it would be great for the fans, for the organization and for all the former players to come back to see each other every year, because there is a lot of history with this team."

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