Stars 'batter up' at 23rd Annual Celebrity Softball Challenge - WKRN News 2

Stars 'batter up' at 23rd Annual Celebrity Softball Challenge

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LoCash Cowboys LoCash Cowboys
John Cloer John Cloer
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -

Country's biggest stars took a slight detour from the CMA Music Festival frenzy Saturday to prove they too can hit more than just high notes.

For 23 years, country music artists have participated in the City of Hope Celebrity Softball Challenge.

City of Hope is dedicated to finding cures and better treatments for cancer, diabetes and other life-threatening diseases, giving the stars something to really compete for.

"I'm going for a diving catch home run what ever it is maybe not but we'll try," said country music artist Brett Eldredge.

Others took a more humble approach.

"Drink coffee and pray," said country music recording artist Aaron Lewis.

The star-studded roster of country music's hottest performers took to the field to strike out cancer.

"A lot of people have to deal with terrible situations and City of Hope is there to help out," said Country music star Craig Campbell.

Even Jonathan Jackson, the star of ABC's newest hit Nashville and a fan favorite, is glad he's making a difference on this day.

"I just feel like I'm kind of a newbie to the area so when I got invited to be here I was excited about it," said Jackson.

Two teams have been taking the field for the last 23-years, the Grand Ole Opry and After Midnite. Band mates are often paired against each other, which makes for fierce smack talk.

"If history repeats itself then we'll win again on my team," said Preston Brush of the LoCash Cowboys.

"I'm not sure what history class he's taking I'm pretty sure the Opry is going to win as long as I'm on the Opry team we're going to win," said Chris Lucas of LoCash Cowboys.

Among all the stars there is one shining star whose overcome some tremendous hurdles.

"It was kind of hard going to the doctor constantly and getting all these shots I really didn't like," said John Cloer.

City of Hope Patient Honoree John Cloer was diagnosed with leukemia at the age of two. With City of Hope in his corner, the 12-year-old baseball fan now has a new lease on life.

"Now I'm just lucky to be here and cancer free and I hope we can do the same and help others," said Cloer.

Over the years, the City of Hope Celebrity Softball Challenge has raised more than $2 million dollars in support of the organizations lifesaving research, treatment and education programs.

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