By Nick Authenrieth and Jason Juniewicz
Photos by Logan Lubera and Pinguino Kolb
The Marvel team
On July 26th, during this year's Comic-Con in San Diego, representatives from Marvel and DC Comics squared off in an age-old form of battle where only the strong emerge victorious. The two squads met at Balboa Park and began the skirmish with bats in hand. Yes, it was a softball game. The game was played to benefit the Hero Initiative
, a charity that helps comic creators in need, with the winning team taking home the coveted Stan Lee Cup. A spot on the Marvel roster was auctioned off on eBay
, with all of the profits also going to this great cause. The winner of the auction was comic book store owner John Munn, from Comic Book Ink in Tacoma, Wash. who joined the Dugout of Ideas' softball strike force.
The Stan Lee Cup
This was the second time Marvel and DC had met to do battle on the field for a good cause. Marvel was the big winner last year with a final score of 22-11. There were some changes to the lineups this year as Marvel lost former team captain Mike Marts and last year's MVP Billy Tucci to DC. However, Marvel smartly acquired Steve Wacker in the trade.
Marvel started off strong taking an early lead of 2-0 in the top of the first inning, and brought it up to a commanding lead of 8-1 over the next few innings, thanks largely in part to a crushing grand slam by current team captain Mike Pasciullo.
DC at bat
DC rallied in the bottom of the fourth, as the "Batmen" managed to shift the score in their favor to 9-8. Marvel took back the lead in the fifth keeping it a tense game, but began to dominate in the sixth with home runs from Humberto Ramos-which brought in three-Mike Pascuillo-who grabbed three more RBIs-and a solo shot from John Romita Jr. that put Marvel back on top with a seemingly insurmountable lead.
When the dust settled and the bats and gloves were laid down, the final score was 18-9 with Marvel the victor. Marvel team captain Mike Pescuillo said he could taste victory when that first homerun past the outfielders and put Marvel in the lead once again.
and the Stan
"After DC's monumental comeback, you could definitely feel the momentum shift and even when we had regained the lead by a run, it was still anyone's game," says Pasciullo, Marvel's VP of Business Development. "But once Humberto hit that laser line drive home run, you could just feel that the game had turned in our direction. And with Jenkins on the mound pitching lights-out in relief of our ace Peter David, it was just a matter of time until we would be celebrating with the Cup again." Marvel's co-MVPs were Humberto Ramos and Paul Jenkins.
Marvel at bat
Not everyone could be MVP, but that doesn't mean that there weren't some stellar performances given by the rest of the Marvel team. Slick-fielding shortstop John Dokes, who when he's not beating out artist Jim Lee on a close force play to second, is Marvel's Vice President of Online Operations and Marketing, also turned in a strong performance, going 2 for 2 with 2 runs scored. Both acclaimed artist John Romita Jr. and Mavel's own Editor-in-Chief Joe Quesada each also scored 2 runs.
The Marvel dugout
Although the game benefited a great charity, the game was also a spectacular opportunity for the two monumental competitors of the comic book world to get out in the sun and have some fun. "The bottom line is that this was an exciting game played for fun that gave Marvel and DC a chance to hang out with each other outside the confines of the Convention Center. And regardless of who ended up scoring more runs, we all got to run around under the sun for a few hours and help a great cause," said Pesciullo.
and Paul Jenkins
Now two game-hardened softballs, one autographed by each team are also up for auction on eBay
with all of the profits also going directly to the Hero Initiative. The bids are sure to be piling in with some of the big names who provided their signatures, so go check it out right here. But hurry up because the clock is ticking!
And for more information on the Hero Initiative and all the great work they do, please visit their home page
. And remember, next time you're asked whether Marvel or DC would win in a softball match, you now have irrefutable proof of the utter dominance the House of Ideas brings to the diamond whenever they suit up for battle.
And for all you armchair managers, here's the full Marvel roster and pseudo-box score for the 2007 Marvel/DC softball game:
Axel Alonso - 1st - 2-2
Reilly Brown - RF - 2-3
Peter David - P - 0-2
John Dokes - 2nd/SS - 2-2, 2 runs scored
Paul Jenkins - LF/P - 2-2, 1 run scored
Charles Knauf - C - 1-2, walk
Logan Lubera - RC - 2-3, 3 runs scored
Damon Nee - RC - 1-3, 1 run scored
John Munn - 1st - 1-3
Mike Pasciullo - LC - 3-3, 3 runs scored
Khoi Pham - LF - 1-3
Joe Quesada - 3rd - 2-2, walk, 2 runs scored
Humberto Ramos - RF - 1-2, 1 run scored
Esad Ribic - C - 1-3, 1 run scored
John Romita Jr - SS - 2-3, 2 runs scored
Andy Schmidt - SS/2nd - 2-3, 1 run scored
Steve Wacker - 3rd - 2-2
Daniel Way - 2nd - 2-2, 1 run scored