Will Ferrell a hit playing 10 positions in 1-day baseball blitz
Actor suits up for 10 teams in 5 pre-season contests for charity
You could bet Major League Baseball’s new pace of play initiatives would be abused Thursday at no fewer than five Cactus League parks in Arizona.
That’s because Will Ferrell, who some consider the king of comedy or funniest athlete in the world, was busy suiting up for 10 teams and playing 10 different positions. He had a ball and then some. Here he is before getting started on the field.
The event was filmed for an upcoming HBO special in conjunction with the Funny or Die website co-founded by Ferrell, and the comedian is dedicating the special to fighting cancer.
Ferrell, who has played comic sports figures in Talladega Nights, Blades of Glory and Semi-Pro, was also honouring the historic feat of Bert Campaneris, who on Sept. 8, 1965 played all nine positions for the Kansas City Athletics. Campaneris was with Ferrell as the actor began his journey Wednesday.
Source: Will Ferrell has passed his physical and is ready to leave it all out on the field. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/FerrellTakesTheField?src=hash">#FerrellTakesTheField</a> <a href="http://t.co/1nw0i5cdBj">pic.twitter.com/1nw0i5cdBj</a>—@alysonfooter
Ferrell’s goal is to help organizations like Cancer for College, a charity formed in 1993 to help individuals affected by cancer realize their dreams of a college education.
Ferrell travelled via helicopter in Arizona, visiting ballparks in Mesa, Tempe, Scottsdale, Glendale and Peoria.
His game action began with a contest between the Seattle Mariners and Oakland Athletics at Hohokam Stadium in Mesa. Ferrell played shortstop for the A's before being "traded" to the Mariners. He re-entered the game at second base for the Mariners.
Stretch! <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/FerrellTakesTheField?src=hash">#FerrellTakesTheField</a> <a href="http://t.co/pIbOUcunZo">pic.twitter.com/pIbOUcunZo</a>—@MLB
Ferrell then moved on to the Chicago Cubs-Los Angeles Angels contest at Tempe Diablo Stadium. He replaced American League MVP Mike Trout in centre field for the Angels for the third inning. By the fourth, Ferrell was wearing a Cubs' uniform and coaching third base. He later struck out while batting for the Cubs after appearing at first base.
Will Ferrell strikes out, but his Wins Above Replacement stays strong. <a href="http://t.co/VZjM7dQBcb">http://t.co/VZjM7dQBcb</a> <a href="http://t.co/4pkDqYATox">pic.twitter.com/4pkDqYATox</a>—@sportingnews
From there, Ferrell dressed for the Cincinnati Reds (see player card below) as they visited Salt River Fields at Talking Stick in Scottsdale against the Arizona Diamondbacks. Ferrell played third base for the Reds and left field for the D-Backs.
Don’t act like you’re not impressed. Will you be ready when <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/FerrellTakesTheField?src=hash">#FerrellTakesTheField</a>? <a href="http://t.co/OJrDD8qO8o">http://t.co/OJrDD8qO8o</a> <a href="http://t.co/Cp9rPFyr2d">pic.twitter.com/Cp9rPFyr2d</a>—@Reds
Next, he shared time playing for San Francisco and the Chicago White Sox at Camelback Ranch in Glendale. Here's his entry.
It’s the Catalina Wine Mixer. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/FerrellTakesTheField?src=hash">#FerrellTakesTheField</a> <a href="http://t.co/kXpA2BxZKl">pic.twitter.com/kXpA2BxZKl</a>—@MLBGIFs
The game was nearly over but Ferrell was the designated hitter for the White Sox and managed to get a piece of one pitch before striking out. The old twin K's for the Chicago entries, the Cubs, then the Pale Hose.
Naturally he was quickly traded to the Giants where he relieved Buster Posey of the "tools of ignorance" suiting up as the Giants' catcher.
His last stop would be in Peoria, where the Los Angeles Dodgers battled the “Stay classy” San Diego Padres. And Farrell had a hand in the Dodgers 1-0 victory. He appeared in right field for the Padres but took the mound for the Dodgers and faced San Diego catcher Derek Norris. Ferrell threw one pitch, bunted back to him by Norris and retired the Padre with a throw to first baseman Kyle Jensen. What a day!
Will Ferrell's <a href="https://twitter.com/Dodgers">@Dodgers</a> pitching career will go down as one pitch, one out. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/FerrellTakesTheField?src=hash">#FerrellTakesTheField</a> <a href="https://t.co/kYIJZR2jah">https://t.co/kYIJZR2jah</a>—@XFINITYSports
Ferrell's been there before
In May 2010, Ferrell took the mound for the Houston Astros’ AAA affiliate in Round Rock, Tex., and was at his comedic best, digging into his bag of tricks before 10,149, team’s biggest crowd of the season.
In the middle of the seventh inning, Ferrell sang Take Me Out To the Ball Game, the unofficial anthem of North American baseball, and sat with radio announcers for a half-inning before leaving the ballpark.
Game action was interrupted frequently Thursday as Ferrell entertained thousands, but all for a good cause.
With files from Mike Dennis, CBC Sports