Will Ferrell played 10 different positions for 10 different teams in 5 different ballparks on Thursday. Yes, Will Ferrell, SNL-Alum and star of such movies as Anchorman, Old School, and the preview to his athletic prowess Semi-Pro, crashed the Cactus League with a camera crew in tow to try and recreate the feat Bert Campaneris completed with the Kansas City A’s almost 50 years ago.
Ferrell decided to pull off the stunt not only for the pure fun and HBO special, but to raise money for College for Cancer, a charity that gives scholarships to cancer survivors so they can pursue their degrees, and Stand Up 2 Cancer, MLB’s cancer charity. In an interview after he completed his baseball decathlon, Ferrell said they raised $1 million Thursday from #FerrellTakesTheField.
Ferrell wore number 19 in honor of Campaneris, who was on hand, for 9 of his 10 stops. Out of respect, Ferrell did switch to number 20 when he closed the night with the Padres and trotted out to right field, the spot where Tony Gwynn called home for 20 years.
It was one EPIC day on the diamond for Will Ferrell: http://t.co/C95Fe2GrQU #FerrellTakesTheField
While Ferrell was a passable fielder, he went 0-2 at the plate with 2 Ks although he did foul one off in his plate appearance for the White Sox. His time on the mound was limited to one pitch that was bunted back to him for any easy toss to first and he caught an intentional walk of one batter.
But none of that really matters (although it was a bit funny to get scouts to break his game down like it does). He wasn’t out there to prove 47-year-old actors could play baseball he was out there to break up the monotony of meaningless Spring Training games for fans, raise some money for a good cause, and have fun.
His running bit of going completely apoplectic every time he was removed from the game early or was “traded” or “cut” mid-inning never got old to me. While watching him play is somewhat amusing, what really made this whole endeavor worth watching was the stuff between the baseball and the reactions of players to having this movie star out there running around with them.
The best position for him was undoubtedly as third base coach for the Chicago Cubs. He held a series of signs instead of giving the traditional baseball signs, celebrated a home run, and gave Addison Russell a stern pep talk that worked to the tune of Russell pounding a ball into the gap.
Basically the best third-base coach ever: http://t.co/GV7Qp2sG6B #FerrellTakesTheField
Of course the helicopter entrance is what everyone will be talking about today.
Always arrive in style. #FerrellTakesTheField
What this crazy day of baseball also did for Will Ferrell was move him one step closer to Bill Murray in the power rankings of people you would want to trade lives with in a heartbeat. Both are huge sports fans that get to do things normal fans would kill to do themselves. I would love to see Murray just manage a team for a day in Spring Training, although that might be too high profile for him these days. Ferrell is still working a lot and into these big, elaborate conceits. Murray seems content to hangout in Charleston, join in the fun at a random Bachelor Party, tear tickets at an indie league ballpark for a team he owns, and work only occasionally — i.e. a cameo in the final season of a beloved sitcom playing a dead mayor.
Moral of the Story: 1. Spring Training baseball is largely pointless and is better with more fun 2. Put funny people in most situations and it will make that situation better. 3. Bill Bleeping Murray is a king.