He’s the Miz, and he’s a two-time MLB Legends & Celebrity Softball Game MVP.
When it comes to July, MLB’s Midsummer Classic takes center stage. But it’s not just the contest between the National and American Leagues that has drawn attention over the years as All-Star Weekend has grown to include several showcases. Among these All-Star events are the Home Run Derby, All-Star Futures Game, and of course, the crown jewel of the week, the Legends & Celebrity Softball Game. Once again, WWE‘s own Mike “The Miz” Mizanin emerged as the game’s top player.
The Miz Wins his Second All-Star MVP
When it comes to the All-Star Legends & Celebrity Softball Game, the Miz has become somewhat of a staple. The 41-year-old superstar made his debut in the game in 2018 and easily stood out as the star of the show. Going two-for-two at the plate with two doubles and a handful of RBI, the Miz’ shining moment came when he pitched a three-up, three-down inning – all while being mic’d up for the TV audience. Miz’ efforts ultimately won him a well-deserved MVP award. The Miz would return to the game in 2019, as player/manager for his hometown Team Cleveland in the Cleveland vs the World game where he hit an inside-the-park-home run, and again in 2021 (the game wasn’t held in 2020 due to Covid).
In 2022, now playing for the Brooklyn team in the Brooklyn vs Los Angeles-themed game, Miz returned to claim the MVP once again, only this time picking up the award as much for his entertainment as his on-field performance. Always the showman, Miz was seen hyping up teammate Hunter Pence’s heelish ways early on following Pence’s first of two home runs in the game, and then took his position behind the backstop to catch for Olympic softball gold medalist, Jennie Finch as she pitched a one-two-three inning where Miz trash-talked the opposing batters all the way. In his first at-bat, the Miz popped out to deep center field, missing a home run by mere inches. He would not make that same mistake twice. Batting again in the fourth inning, the Miz went first pitch swinging and drilled a ball to deep center to plate two runs and give his team the lead.
With his team staked to a three-run lead, the Miz went straight from the batter’s box to the pitching mound, where this time Finch was catching for him. Miz got former USA Softball great Natasha Watley to ground out to start the inning and benefited from a great outfield assist for out number two. But then the wheels started to fall off a bit. After giving up a few runs, Miz finished his inning off strong, causing former Los Angeles Dodger great Andre Ethier to pop out to Pence in right field.
When the score was final with Brooklyn winning 15-13, there was really only one choice for the MVP. But in what can only be called a massive swerve, it was determined that the award, which this year was a trophy in the form of a WWE Championship belt, would be determined by a fan vote. And naturally, Pence, who proudly flashed the t-shirt of the San Francisco Giants, one of the Dodgers’ biggest rivals, during his first home run celebration, was going to be at a disadvantage. While Miz put over his teammate for his role in helping Brooklyn achieve victory (Pence had two home runs, a double, and a handful of RBI, as well as a clean sheet in the outfield) and for his expert heel work in the process, the fans didn’t see things the same way. Pence got booed like crazy while Miz, who noted “this is the first time I’ve ever been cheered in my entire career” emerged the victor. In classic fashion, Miz fell to his knees to celebrate as the title was raised and MLB Network’s Steven Nelson played the role of ring announcer, proclaiming “And New Celebrity Softball Game MVP, the Miz!”
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