Originally published June 19, 2012 at 12:03p.m., updated June 20, 2012 at 12:54a.m.

Bill Self to participate in All-Star Legends and Celebrity Softball Game

KU coach chooses jersey number '08' for contest at Kauffman Stadium


Bill Self was allowed to choose his own jersey number for the All-Star Legends & Celebrity Softball Game, set for Sunday, July 8, at Kauffman Stadium.

“I have a unique number, as a matter of fact,” Self, Kansas University’s basketball coach said Tuesday in Allen Fieldhouse. “I didn’t know what number to pick. I figured (George, No. 5) Brett would be playing and some other guys would be playing, so I went with my own, unique number. I’m ‘08’ — I thought that was a good number to pick,” Self added, “08” ostensibly referring to the year KU won the national basketball title.

Self, who was a good softball player back in the day, will be joined by Royals greats Brett, Bo Jackson and Mike Sweeney plus Ernie Banks, Andre Dawson, Rollie Fingers, Rickey Henderson, Ozzie Smith, Dave Winfield, Joe Carter and Mike Piazza.

Others in the game: Emmy Award winner Eric Stonestreet, Chiefs quarterback Matt Cassel, “Mad Men” star Jon Hamm, “Glee” actor Chord Overstreet, “American Idol” contestants Haley Reinhart and David Cook, “Desperate Housewives” actor James Denton, soccer’s Carlos Bocanegra, comedian Horatio Sanz, country singer David Nail, UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones, “Extreme Makeover” carpenter Paul Dimeo and USA Softball’s Jennie Finch.

“I think I’m going to have to go on a diet just to get in the pants size I gave them,” Self said.

“Going way back ... I probably haven’t swung a baseball bat since 1993. It hasn’t been quite 20 years. We had a big-time team back in Stillwater,” added Oklahoma State graduate Self. “Seven, eight years after (graduation) we pretty much ran that city league down there. I’ve not had a chance to play since then. I’m going to go to the cages a little bit and make sure I can hit a slow-pitch softball.

“I still feel I’ll be able to do something in that celebrity all-star game which I have no idea why I’m in it. I could get out on my front foot a little bit, and get a little excited, and maybe swing and miss, too. I’m definitely going to take a little B.P. (batting practice).”

A big baseball fan, Self likes the hoopla surrounding the All-Star game.

“It should be a lot of fun. I always watch those, not in its entirety,” Self said of the softball game. “To be honest, I didn’t recognize everybody. I recognized all of the athletes. You’ve got Sweeney, Brett and Jackson from the Royals, guys like Ernie Banks, Piazza, I’ll be a fish out of water.”

The Taco Bell All-Star Legends & Celebrity Softball Game will be played after the 4 p.m., SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game, featuring some of MLB’s best young prospects.

The softball game will be televised by ESPN at approximately 9:30 p.m. immediately following the State Farm Home Run Derby which begins at 7 p.m. on Monday, July 9. The game will also be available on, ESPN Mobile TV and via the WatchESPN app.

For more information, go to


Tony Bandle 10 years, 5 months ago

At least they were honest in advertising and didn't use the phrase " star-studded celebrities".

They could also throw in a negligee football game for a crowd-pleasing trifecta!!

justinryman 10 years, 5 months ago

Hope coach is on opposite teams as Eric Stonestreet, he's a Kstate grad and a huge fan of theirs.

Knock a few over the plastic fence coach!!!!

ahpersecoachingexperience 10 years, 5 months ago

Bill Snyder to be honorary old guy in the stands. Yell at others to sit down because he can't see, complaining about the loudness of the PA speakers, and telling everyone around him how much things cost in his day.

clevelandjayhawker 10 years, 5 months ago

No Kate Upton....Samantha Ryan to pinch hit?

Pitthawk34 10 years, 5 months ago

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rockchalk_dpu 10 years, 5 months ago

Funny there's no mention of Frank Haith being asked to participate. I know Jon Hamm is a Missouri fan, but more known for Don Draper than his Missouri roots. Guess Kansas City really is a KU town.

Pitthawk34 10 years, 5 months ago

I heard that Frank will be the bat boy and catch fly balls during the HR derby.

Martin Rosenblum 10 years, 5 months ago

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sawman3333 10 years, 5 months ago

Outside of Coach Self, I've never heard of any of these folks. Man, I'm old!

Martin Rosenblum 10 years, 5 months ago

Never heard of George Brett, Bo Jackson, Ozzie Smith, Dave Winfiedl, etc? Honus Wagner can't play, nor can Mickey Mantle, remember them?

nuleafjhawk 10 years, 5 months ago

To this day, I'm still amazed when I think of the athletic ability that Bo Jackson had. The dude was a FREAK.

Martin Rosenblum 10 years, 5 months ago

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KEITHMILES05 10 years, 5 months ago

I find it embarassing to have coverage about every small thing a KU coach does. Leave them alone. They have lives. We have lives. Give us real sports.

Cameron Cederlind 10 years, 5 months ago

Small thing? Playing in the MLB All-Star softball game? You must have declined the offer because you've played in it so many times. Embarrassing that they're telling us our Men's Basketball coach is playing softball on ESPN, really?

Keven Courtney 10 years, 5 months ago

Hey Coach Self I have a slow pitch team come on out we play on Wednesdays you can practice your swing and get back in the groove of things. The team is all Jayhawk fans. Just thought I'd throw the invite to you.

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