WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Tuesday evening, Gallaudet University baseball head coach Curtis Pride returned to his familiar position in the outfield at a Major League Baseball stadium. This time the opponent was not a baseball team but a softball team filled with American Heroes.
Pride joined a group of D.C. celebrities consisting of politicians, former professional athletes and sports media reporters playing against the Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball Team (WWAST). The game took place in the outfield of Nationals Park right after the final exhibition game of Spring Training for the Washington Nationals against the Boston Red Sox.
WWAST is a team full of our nation's bravest and most determined heroes, soldiers and veterans who sustained severe injuries, resulting in amputation of a limb, while serving in the military.
Pride singled in his first at-bat to right field and later scored one of the four runs for the D.C. celebrities as he finished the game 1-for-2 and caught a fly ball in the outfield. WWAST crushed the D.C. celebrities 17-4 before several thousand fans that stayed after the Nationals game to watch this inspiring display of athleticism by the WWAST.
"This was a huge honor to participate in this game," said Pride. "I want to thank the members of the Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball Team and all members of the U.S. armed services for serving our country so honorably. They are all true American Heroes. I also want to thank the Washington Nationals for hosting this fine event."
The game lasted just over an hour and went five innings. Pride was joined on his team by notable D.C. celebrities such as former Washington Redskins LaVar Arrington, Darrell Green and Charles Mann, D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray, NBC news reporter Luke Russert and ESPN's Tony Reali to name a few.
This is the second time the WWAST has played at Nationals Park, their home field, as the Washington Nationals help sponsor the club. Last fall, the WWAST played another group of D.C. celebrities after a Nationals game.
The Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball Team (WWAST) mission is to raise awareness, through exhibition and celebrity softball games, of the sacrifices and resilience of our military, and highlight their ability to rise above any challenge. Our goal is to show other amputees and the general population, that these athletes through extensive rehabilitation and training are able to express their desires and perform the sport they loved. For more information log onto their website www.woundedwarrioramputeesoftballteam.org. You can also find them on Facebook and Twitter.
- Wounded Warriors prove anything is possible (WashingtonNationals.com)
- Video - Play Ball! WWAST takes on D.C. celebrities (NBC Nightly News)
Pictures from the WWAST-D.C. Celebrity Softball Game
Photos courtesy of Gallaudet Athletics and Takeshi Matsumoto
Coach Pride during his first at-bat, he singled off this pitch
Members of Gallaudet's baseball team came out to cheer on their coach
Coach Pride receives his game jersey, he wore #36
A picture of Coach Pride on the big screen at Nationals Park