The MTV Rock n' Jock softball game is always high on energy and entertainment--as well as final scores. The first two are what keeps major leaguer David Justice coming back to play for the network's annual fund-raiser.
The game, being held Saturday in Long Beach, includes players from music, television and sports.
"This is my fifth time," says the Atlanta Braves' heavy hitter. "It's an opportunity to have fun and a chance to meet entertainers . . . and tell them you enjoy what they do."
The crowds seem to love what Justice does, too--he was an avid softball player growing up, and in past Rock n' Jock games, he's had no trouble reaching the fences, the way he does in big league games.
"The trajectory is totally different," Justice explains. "The ball's coming out of the sky, it's a lot slower. It takes a little practice, but once you get the hang of it, it's almost the same as baseball--just see it and hit it."
And hit it he does, to the delight of the fans. But the big attraction for fans at this event, Justice believes, is being able to see favorite entertainers and athletes together at one time.
"MTV has done a great job over the years," says Justice, whose off-season home is Los Angeles. "It's a lot of fun for us and the fans, and I think that's why everyone keeps coming out for it."
The roster of pro players also includes Cecil Fielder, John Franco, Eric Karros, Ken Griffey Jr., Mike Piazza, Kenny Lofton, Roger McDowell and Bobby Bonilla. From music and television: Nate Morris (Boyz II Men), Amy Yasbeck ("Wings"), singer Monica, Treach (Naughty by Nature), Jerry Cantrell (Alice in Chains), Jon Cryer ("Partners"), David Chokachi ("Baywatch"), Kevin Pollak ("The Usual Suspects"), Jonathan Silverman ("The Single Guy"), Bill Bellamy and Dan Cortese from MTV.
The game gets underway at 12:30 p.m. at Blair Field, 4700 E. 10th St., Long Beach. The annual softball challenge raises money for the T.J. Martell Foundation for children. Tickets are available at the gate or through Ticketmaster: $8; students with ID, $6. (213) 480-3232.