Tim Lelito couldn’t believe what he was hearing.
The Big Shot Co-Ed Softball Tournament, a staple of the team since 2010, had no Saint to run it after Ben Grubbs was traded to Kansas City in the offseason.
“I was asking around, who’s going to do the softball game, and everybody was like ‘no one,'” Lelito said. “I’ve been here two years, the softball game is a big tradition around here.”
So Lelito stepped up, and on Friday night, roughly 20 Saints descended on Mike Miley Stadium in Metairie for the annual softball game, complete with a home run derby.
You’d think the Saints would mash the ball out, but hitting a softball’s a pretty distinct skill. Tight end Josh Hill and long snapper Justin Drescher tied in the regular round with two homers apiece, and then Drescher beat Hill two to one in a six-pitch swing-off.
“I played some baseball in high school, and then I played on a softball team in college,” Hill said.
Once they got to the game itself — offense vs. defense — it was pretty clear several Saints don’t have a lot of experience with the game, prompting Lelito to ask the group of Little Leaguers from Slidell that had been there for the pregame to come out and play the outfield.
All in all, not bad for an event Lelito put together in less than a month to benefit Get Checked or Check Out Health Foundation and the Team Gleason Foundation.
Both times the media has met with Lelito outside of the facility on Airline Drive in the past month, he’s been headed to or from a charity function.
When he played at the Saints Hall of Fame Golf Classic, he was coming back from Grand Isle, where he’d been participating in the Stan Brock Black & Gold Classic for the Green Beret Foundation and the Navy Seal Foundation.
And now that he’s pulled off the the Big Shot Co-Ed Softball tournament, Lelito’s headed to Special Olympics bowling on Saturday.
“Being a professional athlete isn’t just about being on the field, it’s off-the-field stuff, too,” Lelito said. “I know it sounds really cheesy, but I think of the Spiderman quote, ‘With great power, comes great responsibility.”