Antonio Villaraigosa added another first to his resume on Saturday. He became the only mayor to play in the annual Hollywood Stars softball game at Dodger Stadium. Along with Lou Gossett Jr. and Mia Hamm, the mayor was pretty much the fans' favorite. Celebrity sizzle on the field peaked at Sarah Silverman, Jimmy Kimmel and James Denton then slid down from there. (Hall of Famer Eddie Murray, watching from the dugout, was hands down the biggest star in the house for my money.) Villaraigosa worked out in the clubhouse gym then emerged on the field at 4:35 pm, escorted by Dodgers senior VP for City Hall handling Howard Sunkin. The mayor shook a lot of hands, posed with former Playmates Brande Roderick and Kendra Wilkinson and took some one-on-one batting practice with ex-Dodger Sweet Lou Johnson before exchanging hugs with Brooklyn great Don Newcombe.
Then it was game time. Villaraigosa wore #1 for the Silverman-Kimmel side, got a nice hand when he batted second, and after fanning at a couple of high pitches reached base on a fielder's choice grounder to short. He got as far as third base, but after the play was called back he somehow found himself sliding into an already-occupied second base. On the bench, he apologized to the team for bailing but announced, "I have to go meet the President." Heads swiveled, but it was President Leonel Fernandez of the Dominican Republic, up in Frank and Jamie McCourt's suite. At 5:25 pm Villaraigosa dashed up aisle 27 in his blue shorts and white jersey to change in a private trailer beyond the left field fence. After the game he had to introduce Al Gore at a screening of An Inconvenient Truth. "My all-time favorite major league player is Sandy Koufax," he disclosed to some gathered media types before running off.
The mayor's team went on to win 10-3 on a couple of homers by actor Jonathan Silverman. After the jump: Proof that LA Observed will get up from the keyboard to chase down the really big stories.
Photo: Danny Moloshok/AP via Yahoo
Actually Brande and I decided after the game that we're not related.