The Colorado Springs Sky Sox, in conjunction with the Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association (MLBPAA), Memorial Hospital and CenturyLink, have announced that the previously named Waldo Canyon Classic has been renamed as the Heroes Classic. In addition, the club has also announced that for each ticket purchased for the event on Saturday, June 22, five dollars will be donated to the Pikes Peak Community Foundation to assist victims of the Black Forest Fire. Also, anyone who has lost their home in the recent fire or is still currently evacuated can come to the game for free by stopping by the Sky Sox box office any time leading up to the event.
This celebrity softball game has been in the planning since October of last year and has always been centered on recognizing and raising funds for our local heroes in the region's Police and Fire Departments. The event will serve as an opportunity for the entire community to come together and recognize and celebrate those brave men and women, but after the recent wildfire in Black Forest, the Colorado Springs Police and Fire Departments, in conjunction with the Sky Sox, have decided that the focus and fundraising efforts will go to the people in most need from the recent fire. All money raised during the event via the newly announced ticket donation and the auctioning of specialty game-worn jerseys and baseball memorabilia will go to the Pikes Peak Community Foundation's "Emergency Relief Fund" which was established for victims of the Black Forest Fire. This fund is modeled after last year's Waldo Canyon Firefighters Fund which received an outpouring of community support.
In addition, Care & Share Food Bank will be on hand at the event accepting any nonperishable food item donations and Springs Rescue Mission will be accepting clothing, household items and clean-up items like work gloves, rakes, shovels and trash bags. Pikes Peak Community Foundation will also be on hand at the game accepting any monetary donations that individuals would like to make beyond their ticket purchase.
The event will be held at Security Service Field on Saturday, June 22 at 7:05 PM and will salute the brave men and women of the Colorado Springs and El Paso County Fire and Safety Departments who willingly fight everyday to keep our community safe and secure. The two teams will consist of members of the Colorado Springs Police and Fire Departments, including two celebrity managers in Chief Pete Carey for the Police and Interim Chief Tommy Smith for Fire. Another local celebrity who will be playing in the game is Jerri Marr. During last year's Waldo Canyon Fire, Marr's tremendous leadership skills and honest, engaging presence on everyone's television screens endeared her to all residents in Southern Colorado. In addition, each team will also include several former Major League baseball players, local media members and local dignitaries.
Highlighting the former Major League players who will be participating in the event is Hall of Fame pitcher Rollie Fingers who saved over 340 games in his career and won both the Cy Young Award and American League MVP Award in 1981. The night will culminate with a tremendous fireworks display following the game.
As part of the game day activities, the teams will don unique custom made jerseys each representing their respective department. These unique, game worn jerseys will be auctioned off during and after the game with 100% of the proceeds benefitting the Pikes Peak Community Foundation.
During the game, there will be a special silent auction of all the players' jerseys which will be held in the concourse at the main entrance of the stadium. Following the game, a live auction will be held on the Sky Sox dugout that will feature a select number of jerseys including Rollie Fingers'. All jerseys will be autographed by the player that wore them and will be accompanied with a certificate of authenticity. The MLBPAA will also auction off a variety of baseball memorabilia during the game with a portion of the proceeds benefitting the Pikes Peak Community Foundation.
Tickets for the event come in two different options and can be purchased online at www.skysox.com, in person at the Sky Sox box office or by calling (719) 591-SOXX. Five dollars from each ticket purchased will be donated to the Pikes Peak Community Foundation to help victims of the Black Forest Fire.
- A limited number of special VIP package tickets are available for $30 and include:
- A general admission ticket to the game.
- Access to a special VIP autograph session before the game with the former Major League players, including Rollie Fingers
- Membership in the MLBPAA
- Regular general admission tickets to the game will be $10.
Former Major League players that will be participating in the game include:
- Rollie Fingers: Hall of Fame pitcher, Cy Young Award Winner & AL MVP in 1981, played 18 seasons with Oakland, San Diego & Milwaukee, won three World Series with Oakland 1972-74.
- Dave Henderson: Outfielder played 14 seasons with Seattle, Boston, San Francisco, Oakland & Kansas City, won a World Series with Oakland in 1989, hit 197 career home runs.
- Mike Timlin: Four-time World Series Champion with Toronto (1992-93) & Boston (2004, 2007), reliever played in 18 seasons with Toronto, Seattle, Baltimore, St. Louis, Philadelphia & Boston.
- Turk Wendell: An 11 year veteran who played for the Cubs, Mets, Phillies & Rockies. Appeared in the 2000 World Series with the Mets and pitched in 552 career games.
- Bob Knepper: Two-time All-Star, pitcher played 15 seasons with San Francisco & Houston, won 146 games in his career including six season with 10 or more wins.
- Mark Knudson: A member of the Rockies inaugural 1993 team, pitcher played in eight seasons with Houston, Milwaukee & Colorado.
- Mark Lee: Pitcher played four seasons with Kansas City, Milwaukee & Baltimore.
- Gary Krug: Mitchell High School grad and current Pine Creek JV Baseball Head Coach played for the Cubs in 1981, former Head Baseball Coach at Cheyenne Mountain High School.
- Brian Fisher: A 2nd round draft pick of the Atlanta Braves in 1980, the righty won 36 games in seven seasons with the Yankees, Pirates, Astros and Mariners.
- Bobby Johnson: A catcher & first baseman who played three season with the Texas Rangers. He is also the nephew of Hall of Famer Ernie Banks.
- Mike Thompson: A right-hander who pitched for the Padres for two seasons after being a 5th round pick in 1999.
- Scott Randall: A former member of the Sky Sox where he played three seasons after being drafted by the Rockies in 1995. He pitched in the Majors for the Reds and three a no-hitter in 1996 with the Asheville Tourists.
"The Waldo Canyon and Black Forest Fires are two of the most devastating events in Colorado Springs' history and their impact will be felt for years to come," said Sky Sox President & General Manager Tony Ensor. "However, one positive our community has taken from these events is the tremendous pride and trust we have in our local police and fire departments. We are honored to pay tribute to our local heroes for not only the heroics they showed during these two fires but also for what they do day-in and day-out to make Colorado Springs one of the best communities in America."
For more information please contact Mike Hobson at (719) 597-1449 or through email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.