Cassel was a key contributor to the “Earthquake Kids,” a 12-year old playing first base for the Northridge, Ca. team that lost to Maracaibo, Venezuela in the championship game of the 1994 Little League World Series.
Northridge City Little League captured headlines in their march to the title game after an earthquake destroyed many of their homes. Cassel had two hits in Northridge’s 3-0 semi-final victory over Springfield, Va. and also made several sparkling defensive plays.
Cassel hit .429 with six hits and a home run en route to Northridge winning the United States Championship. According to an old article in the L.A. Times, 20,000 people showed up to cheer on the “Earthquake Kids” in their semi-final victory.
It’s actually a surprise Cassel made his way as a professional football player. His older brother, Jack, played professionally for the Padres and Astros and his younger brother, Justin, is currently in the farm system of the White Sox. Cassel himself pitched one season at USC and was drafted by the Athletics in the 36th round the following summer.
Well, Cassel is now returning to his baseball roots. At least for a day.
Cassel will join University of Kansas head basketball coach Bill Self and “Modern Family” star Eric Stonestreet as celebrity players in the 2012 Taco Bell All-Star Legends & Celebrity Softball Game July 8th at Kauffman Stadium.
Former Royals George Brett, Bo Jackson and Mike Sweeney are also scheduled to play, as are Hall of Famers Ernie Banks, Andre Dawson, Rollie Fingers, Ricky Henderson, Ozzie Smith and Dave Winfield. Perennial all-stars Joe Carter and Mike Piazza will play as well.
The Taco Bell All-Star Legends & Celebrity Softball Game features Major League Baseball legends with celebrities from TV, movies and music, and is the second game of a fun doubleheader of activity at Kauffman Stadium during Taco Bell All-Star Sunday.
Preceding the softball game will be the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game at 4:00 p.m. Central featuring some of MLB’s best young prospects from the U.S. and around the world.
Last summer, Cassel hit two home runs in the Big Slick Celebrity Wiffle Ball Game at the “Little K” inside Kauffman Stadium. We’ll see if he can replicate that performance on national television.
The Taco Bell All-Star Legends & Celebrity Softball Game will be televised by ESPN at approximately 9:30 p.m. Central immediately following the State Farm Home Run Derby which begins at 7:00 p.m. Central on Monday, July 9th.
Other celebrities playing the game include “Mad Men” star Jon Hamm; Chord Overstreet from “Glee”; American Idol contestant Haley Reinhart; “Desperate Housewives” actor James Denton; captain of the US National Soccer team Carlos Bocanegra; actor and comedian Horatio Sanz; country music artist David Nail; American Idol winner, David Cook, who used to work at the Stadium Club in Kauffman Stadium; reigning UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Jon “Bones” Jones; Paul Dimeo from “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition”; and USA Softball’s Gold Medalist hurler Jennie Finch.
For more information, go to www.allstargame.com.
Photo Credit: Kansas City Royals – 2011 Big Slick Celebrity Wiffle Ball Game