The Celebrity Softball Jam combines nine innings of fun-filled, athleticism-optional softball with a talent-packed postgame concert on two stages in centerfield on Sunday May 15.
Led by brothers Willy and Cody Braun, the band wanted to create a signature event with friends from the worlds of music and sports combining America’s pastime and music to benefit Austin’s youth. In eight years, the Reckless Kelly Celebrity Softball Jam has raised over $300,000 for area youth leagues (South Austin Little League, Balcones Little League, Montopolis Little League, Del Valley Little League, The Miracle League at Town & Country, The Miracle League of San Antonio, Greater East Austin Youth Association and RBI Austin) including a $150,000 renovation of Mabson Field in East Austin.
TMI had the chance to speak with Celebrity Jam Co-Founder and Reckless Kelly multi-instrumentalist, Cody Braun, for additional event details.
TMI: The Softball Jam has another spectacular lineup this year.
CB: Every year it gets bigger and better. The first year was a huge success and we’ve just kept on rocking every year since. It’s a lot of fun and a great event for everybody.
TMI: What are some of the organizations that have benefitted from Reckless Kelly and the Celebrity Softball Jam in the past?
CB: We’ve helped a lot Little League organizations here in town. We’ve also worked with the Miracle League. Last year we worked with the RBI Association to help to revive baseball in inner-cities. We helped them rebuild Mabson field in east Austin.
TMI: Is there a particular organization the proceeds will benefit this year?
CB: This year we decided to focus on the music end of things and help our friends at the SIMS Foundation. They help musicians and their families who are dealing with mental health and addiction issues. It’s a great organization that we’ve been working with over the last 15 years or so. We’re also doing the Reckless Recycling Program and ask people to bring slightly used baseball and softball gear to donate for kids who need it. We also ask people to bring used instruments as well for an organization we work with that helps get instruments to foster children. We always try to spread it out a bit and do something different every year.
TMI: Will there be additional options for fans to donate at the event? Or for fans to donate who may not be able to attend?
CB: All ticket proceeds go to the beneficiaries and we will have a live auction at the event. There’s also ways to donate on the website as well if you can’t make it to the event.
TMI: How instrumental has the Ryan family and the Round Rock Express been to the organization and success of the Softball Jam?
CB: Huge. We’re pretty much 50/50 partners in the event. They’ve just gone above and beyond…the whole Ryan family…the Round Rock Express…Ryan-Sanders Baseball…they all have been great. Over the last 8 years we’ve gotten to be really good friends with all those guys. We’ve gotten to spend a lot of time with them and worked on different projects together. The Softball Jam has been the biggest one we do every year. We definitely couldn’t do it without them.
TMI: Reckless Kelly has performed the National Anthem in 11 Major League Baseball stadiums. Is there a particular stadium that truly stood out? And is there a particular stadium that you’ve yet to visit on your bucket list?
CB: Our bucket list goal is to perform in all of them. We got to do Wrigley Field on Mother’s Day a few years ago. We flew our mom in for that. Fenway Park was great. And the Rangers…we’ve done several events with them and they’re always great. The Astros as well. We did opening day in Arizona several years ago for the Diamond Backs and had the jets fly over. That was pretty exciting. But, they’re all exciting. It’s one of those things that never gets old because it’s a minute and a half of sheer terror trying to not screw up the words and dealing with the echo. It’s always a challenge and one of the few things we still get nervous performing. But, it’s a lot of fun and you get great seats.
*Check back to TMI for additional photos and coverage of the Reckless Kelly Celebrity Softball Jam following the event.
12:00N – Gates
1:00P – Game Starts
3:00P – Concert Starts
*all times approximate
Posted by: Doug Leach