CCI, Day 1: Marvel Dominates DC in Softball Game 22 - 11

Thu, July 20th, 2006 at 12:00am PDT

Comic Books
Jonah Weiland, Executive Producer/Publisher

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Thursday, the biggest news to come from Comic-Con International wasn't news revealed at a panel or something happening on the convention floor. No, it was the goings on at a baseball diamond about 10 minutes north of downtown San Diego where DC Comics and Marvel Comics squared off in a grudge match, err, softball game to raise money and awareness for the ACTOR Comic Fund, a not-for-profit corporation dedicated strictly to helping comic book creators in need.

The weather was perfect. Well, the weather is almost always perfect in Southern California, but today it felt as though the stars aligned just for the game. I'm sure the participants who were sweating their butts off playing today might take some issue with that, but hey, at least it wasn't humid!

While at the game, editors, artists, creators and others found it a nice temporary diversion from the craziness on the convention floor. The chance to take in a little sun and fresh air was relished by all. Everyone appeared to be having a great time, with lots of playful ribbing amongst opponents. And, in fact, I saw numerous people with their Blackberries out messaging staffers back at the convention with score updates.

Ultimately, it was Marvel's day to shine, as the team beat DC Comics easily 22 to 11. Jim McLauchlin, the man behind ACTOR and this fund raiser, told CBR News after the game that Marvel was led by Marketing Director John Dokes, who went 2-2 with 4 RBIs. By contrast, Croatian artist Esad Ribic went to bat the first time with a cigarette dangling from his mouth and his second at bat was, well, shirtless (sadly we left before getting a chance to capture that image for the world to see). Suffice it to say, he went 0-2.

As part of the event, fans could bid for one spot on each team. The winner of the DC Comics auction was Shawn Kirkham, who paid $1325 for the honor to play along side the likes of Jim Lee, Dan DiDio, Mark Waid and many others. He was named MVP of the DC team after going 2-2 with 5 RBIs.

The winner of the Marvel auction was Mike Malve, owner of the Atomic Comics chain in Arizona. He paid $860 for the privilege of playing alongside the likes of John Romita Jr., Robert Kirkman, Axel Alonso and other Marvel staffers. Mike went 0-1 with a walk.

"More than anything else today, we had a lot of fun," McLauchlin told CBR News. His biggest concern in putting on this event was breaking even (there were a number of costs involved, such as transportation and reserving the field). When all is said and done, McLauchlin believes they'll have been successful in their goal and raised a couple of grand with the event. "Now that we've done it once, we can teak and fine tune it for the next time," said McLauchlin.

Will there be a rematch next year in San Diego? Will DC Comics get a chance to exact revenge on their cross town rivals? McLauchlin plans on making it happen.

Marvel Editor Axel Alonso at bat. Billy Tucci winds up ...
... and swings, connecting for a nice hit ... ... that allows Alonso to take second base with a pretty slide.
DC's Jan Jones throws a heater. Marvel's Third Base Coach Robert Kirkman waves Billy Tucci in.
Kirkman gives some advice to Marvel winner Mike Malve. Jim Lee stands ready outside the batters box.
Billy Tucci gets low while pitching to Lee ... ... and woah, Tucci, a little inside, ball one.
Lee swings and connects on a high pitch ... ... and makes it to third base.
DC Skipper Dan DiDio plays double duty as third base coach. Here's a nice little sequence. Tucci releases the ball ...
... the ball's two-thirds of the way to the batter ... ... who connects!
The DC Comics crew, led by Skipper Dan DiDio sporting #666 on his jersey, cheer on their team mates. DC's Jan Jones got hit by a ball and Jim McLauchlin checks on her. She gives the thumbs up, indicating she's A-OK.
Marvel's John Dokes connects! DC's Right Fielder/Editor Mike Carlin throws the ball home.
John Romita Jr. takes the field. Carlin takes first base and does a little dance while DC staffers cheer him on.
I love this sequence. Dan DiDio throws to first ... ... just in time to throw the batter out!
JR Jr. waits for a pitch. Axel Alonso had the smallest strike zone of any player.
Dan DiDio pitches one home.

 
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