After the final out was recorded in Sunday’s Legends and Celebrities softball game at Target Field — and yes, the final out came when rapper/TV personality Sway was caught in a rundown — players mingled on the field while fireworks blasted overhead.
Fans dangled pens, hoping for autographs. Look one way and you saw Dwight Gooden. Look another way and you saw Andrew Zimmern.
Mad Men’s January Jones sidled up to Vikings running back Adrian Peterson with her smart phone in hand. Even celebrities can be starstruck around celebrities; she wanted a picture with AP, and she wasn’t about to leave empty-handed.
“It’s cool. It’s humbling,” Peterson said later, when asked about being asked by Jones for a picture. “It makes you realize the position you’re in. I really don’t take in the celebrity status I have. When people want to take a picture or want an autograph, it brings me back to, ‘wow, you’ve really been blessed.’”
That was the theme of the afternoon and evening: celebrities in awe of each other. Actor Rob Riggle (we remember him best as the over-aggressive police officer in The Hangover) gushed about having a locker next to Rollie Fingers.
Wild forward Zach Parise, himself one of the most recognizable names and faces in Twin Cities sports, said he was really looking forward to meeting Peterson. He also loved seeing other stars from the baseball world that he grew up admiring.
“You’re so used to being around hockey players,” Parise said. “To see legends from these other sports, I’m still a fan of a lot of them. Rickey Henderson, Jack Morris, (John) Smoltz. I was a fan growing up, so it’s fun to be around them.”
Even Peterson, one of the biggest stars in all of sports, seemed thrilled to get some tips from Rickey Henderson.
“Mr. Henderson, he gave me some pointers and whatnot, so I was able to take a couple of those from him,” Peterson said. “But it didn’t show when I was up to bat.”
Indeed, Peterson grounded out to third, twice — a position manned by Nelly. What a strange, surreal, celebrity scene.