Lots of Saints players came out yesterday to take part in the 2nd annual Heath Evans Foundation Softball Showdown, which is aimed at raising awareness for helping victims of childhood sexual abuse. Judging by the team picture taken afterwards, it looks like around half of the Saints' roster attended. Even though the Defense got destroyed by Drew Brees and the Offense, everyone seemed to have a very fun time. Better luck next year, Mr. Vilma.
Make the jump for all of the links and video from the event.
New Orleans Saints pose for a photo after the softball game | NOLA.com
COOL PIC! The game was at Zephyr Field.
Heath Evans Softball Showdown photo gallery | NOLA.com
Offense whips defense 25-12
Among other highlights: first-round draft pick Mark Ingram homered in his first at-bat.
Meanwhile, Reggie Bush, who struck out in his first at-bat, sent tweets from the mound, then plucked a fan in a Bush jersey from the crowd for an at-bat. The fan jacked a home run over the left-field wall.
NFL lockout hangs cloud over charity softball game with New Orleans Saints | NOLA.com
Fans upbeat, hopeful resolution will come
As always, the place was packed, Brees put on a show at the plate, and Saints fans always lusting for another chance to see their heroes left satisfied.
...the mood was largely upbeat on the field and in the stands. When backup quarterback Chase Daniel hit a three-run homer in the fifth inning to put the offense up 21-6, the loudspeakers played the soundtrack from "The Natural" as he rounded the bases.
The game ended with the offense beating the defense 25-13. Among other highlights: first-round draft pick Mark Ingram, whose selection elicited controversial tweets from Reggie Bush, homered in his first at-bat, and Bush whiffed on his. Bush wound up with a good moment later, however, when a fan plucked from the crowd for an at-bat showed up wearing a No. 25 Bush jersey and proceeded to hit a home run over the left-field wall.
Very few fans expressed apprehension the lockout might shorten the 2011 season. Sam Burguieres of Mandeville, who has been a Saints fan since the franchise began, brushed aside any such fear.
"No -- not worried about it," he said. "They'll figure it out some kind of way. I think there are some problems there that they need to get straightened out, but there's too much money involved. They'll get it figured out."
BREES EDGES DANIEL: The softball game itself was a blowout Tuesday, but there was a heated battle between quarterbacks Drew Brees and Chase Daniel in the home run derby before the game. Clearly, they had pride on the line, if not something more, based on the intensity. Defensive players were joking that Brees was treating it like the Super Bowl.
Brees went left-handed, even though he's a righty. Both of them hit 11 homers in regulation, including one each over the real Zephyr Field wall. Then they went into sudden death, where Brees finally edged Daniel in the fourth round.
COACH VILMA: Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma has taken on the role of "defensive coordinator" during the player workouts, though he joked that he doesn't try to yell at the players like real defensive coordinator Gregg Williams. "I don't have enough curse words in my vocabulary to talk like him," Vilma joked.
With split-squads led by defensive captain Jonathan Vilma and offensive captain Drew Brees, the Black and Gold treated an estimated crowd of 10,000 to an evening of fun and entertainment with all proceeds from the 2nd annual charity softball game going to benefit the Heath Evans Foundation.
Because of the ongoing NFL lockout, the slow-pitch game might end up being the team’s only true "Organized Team Activity’’ of the offseason.
RB Reggie Bush flew in Tuesday from Los Angeles for the game and hit a HR. … Free agent FS Darren Sharper is leaving Wednesday for Europe and will be out of the country for the rest of the month. …