The Reckless Kelly Celebrity Softball Jam has been around for nine years and raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for charity, but one moment in the 2015 game remains a talker.
The four-time All-America softball pitcher, three-time national player of the year and Olympic gold medalist whiffed a Heisman Trophy winner who also happened to be a former professional baseball player.
Those Texas exes and a whole lot more folks will be back Sunday afternoon at Dell Diamond for a day of softball, music and other entertainment. More than 30 acts are lined up to raise money for Hurricane Harvey relief efforts.
As fate would have it, Osterman, now the pitching coach at Texas State, and Williams, a football analyst for the Longhorn Network, are on opposite sides again.
“He may be expecting it this year,” Osterman said Wednesday. “We’ll have to see how it plays out.”
In that 2015 at-bat, Osterman, tossing slow pitch, got two strikes on Williams before unleashing a low heater that froze Ricky.
“My teammates kept telling me, ‘Give him a hard one; really throw one,” she said. “What I was really worried about was my catcher, (musician) Jack Ingram. I didn’t know if he’d be able to handle it, especially with everyone, well, kind of enjoying themselves. But Jack actually caught it, even though it probably broke his hand.”
The force of Osterman’s pitch caused Ingram to tumble backward and land on his rear. With ball in glove.
Osterman said Williams took it in stride.
“Ricky just shook his head and laughed,” she said. “He did tell me it wasn’t fair, but he’s a baseball player. He singled his next time up against me. The strike-three pitch to him was the only fast one I threw the entire game.”
Osterman, who was 136-25 at Texas with 2,265 strikeouts, guessed her pitch to Williams was traveling about 55 to 60 mph.
“I wasn’t the absolute hardest thrower,” she said. “I’d come in at about 60-63 mph. I was more Greg Maddux-ish with movement and placement. That’s what worked so well for me.”
Former major leaguers Brooks Kieschnick, Josh Beckett, Greg Swindell and Norm Charlton also plan to play Sunday.
“Some of these guys can swing the bat and still play this game,” Osterman said, “even a guy like (former NFL offensive lineman) Kasey Studdard. It’s a lot of fun, with athletes from different sports and abilities.”
The annual event has raised more than $350,000 for area youth leagues, including a $150,000 renovation of Mabson Field in East Austin. This year the Jam will help fund hurricane relief efforts in Texas.
Osterman, who is from Houston and now lives in New Braunfels, said her family on the northwest side of Houston was fortunate to avoid the worst of Hurricane Harvey. She said she has high school friends who weren’t so lucky.
“It’s heartbreaking,” she said. “So many people’s lives are turned upside down. The Jam is for a great cause.”
Osterman, 34, retired from playing in 2015. She’s entering her 10th year of coaching after stints at St. Edward’s and now Texas State. With the Bobcats, she tutors former Texas Gatorade Player of the Year Randi Rupp, who become an All-American last season.
“I’ve helped Randi with a little bit of everything, from mechanics to velocity to the physical and mental side of it,” Osterman said. “She’s pitching now rather than just throwing.”
Osterman believes she has found her calling.
“I come from a family of coaches, and I think I’ve known I wanted to be a coach since fourth grade,” she said.
“The hardest part of transitioning from a player is relinquishing control. You can call the right pitch, but the pitcher has to execute it. All in all, though, I love everything about coaching.”
Reckless Kelly Celebrity Softball Jam
When: 1 p.m. Sunday; game will be followed by a six-hour concert
Where: Dell Diamond
Tickets: $25 in advance, $30 Sunday
Charity: Proceeds will go Hurricane Harvey relief efforts.
Celebrities: Include former Longhorns Ricky Williams, Cat Osterman, Quan Cosby, Kasey Studdard, Brooks Kieschnick and Greg Swindell, along with ex-MLB All-Stars Josh Beckett and Norm Charlton.
Musicians: More than 30 acts, including Reckless Kelly, Jack Ingram, Randy Rogers, Rosie Flores, Jessie Dayton, American Aquarium and the Peterson Brothers.