On Wednesday, A.J. Klein and Benjamin Watson of the New Orleans Saints hosted the 2018 Black and Gold Celebrity Softball Game benefiting the charities Team Gleason and Son Of A Saint. The game was held at Tulane University on Greer Field and had an amazing turnout.
Team Gleason was founded after 2011 when former player Steve Gleason was diagnosed with ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis) which is considered a terminal neuro-muscular disease. Gleason has shown how resilient he is through his documentary “Gleason”(Available on Amazon) which shows the struggles of dealing with the disease from his perspective and his family’s. The organization helps by providing leading-edge technology, equipment, and services to those in need.
Alongside Team Gleason, Son Of A Saint was founded in 2011 by Bivian “Sonny” Lee III. Sonny is the son of Bivian Lee Jr. who was a defensive back for the Saints between 1971-1975. Lee Jr. tragically passed in 1984 at the young age of 36 after suffering a heart attack. After watching his mother struggle throughout the years, Sonny decided to pay it forward by starting the organization which helps fatherless young males in the community.
Other players that attended include Quarterback Drew Brees, Defensive End Cam Jordan, Punter Thomas Morstead, Long Snapper Zach Wood, Line Backer Alex Anzalone, Safety Kurt Coleman, Full Back Zach Line, Retired Offensive Lineman Zach Streif and Rookie Defensive End Marcus Davenport.
The players weren’t the only celebrities that showed up to support the cause. Local star Jarrius “J.J.” Robertson and his father came in to add some depth to the defense’s team. Young Jarrius has fought medical battles of his own After being diagnosed with a chronic liver disease called Biliary Atresia at a young age. The disease has caused issues with his growth, although he doesn’t let it get him down with his upbeat and heartwarming personality. Robertson had a liver transplant in April of last year and has been doing great ever since.
The game kicked off with a Home Run Derby that was won by Wood although Brees showed us that he is fully capable of hitting “nukes” out of the park. Gleason arrived to Greer Field with his son Riley before the game to thank everyone for coming out alongside Lee III to thank everyone for coming out to enjoy the game and support both organizations. Gleason’s son did some bat work of his own by bringing in a run for his team. Its safe to say the kids had just as much fun on the field as their parents.
The final score was 29 to 17 with the Offense’s team taking the victory.
For more information on how you can get involved with Team Gleason and Son Of A Saint visit their websites at the links below.