City of Hope
NASHVILLE, TN - JUNE 07: (L-R) Recording artists Jessie James Decker, Raelynn, and Cassadee Pope attend the 26th Annual City of Hope Celebrity Softball Game at First Tennessee Park on June 7, 2016 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for City Of Hope)

Tuesday, June 7, marked the 26th anniversary of the City of Hope’s Celebrity Softball Game, taking place at the First Tennessee Park, home of the Nashville Sounds.

City of Hope is an independent research and treatment center for cancer, diabetes, and other life threatening diseases. City of Hope is also a founding member of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network with research and treatment protocols that advance care throughout the world.  Learn more about City of Hope on their website. 

Bruce Hinton, the founder of the celebrity softball game was presented the “Champion of Hope Award” by President and CEO of Big Machine Label Group, Scott Borchetta.

Just before the game started, 8-year old Aaron Yniguez, a City of Hope patient from Redlands, California met his donor Yolanda Nava, a Southwest Airlines employee from Arlington,Texas. Aaron received a lifesaving donation of a genetically matched stem cells from Nava. This meeting was the first time the pair have met.

Several celebrities came out to play on either Team Opry or Team iHeartCountry.  Watch our video interview on the “green carpet” with Scotty McCreery, who played on Team Opry.

We also spoke to Jamie Lynn Spears from the iHeart Country Team.

Playing to strike out cancer on the Grand Ole Opry and iHeart Country teams were: Lauren Alania, Craig Wayne Boyd, Danielle Bradbery, Bobby Bones, Bucky Covington, Jessie James Decker, Charles Esten, Nick Fradiani, Vince Gill, Mickey Guyton, Jonathan Jackson, Chris Lane, LOCASH, Scotty McCreery, Tristan McIntosh, Bret Michaels, David Nail, Cassadee Pope, RaeLynn, Jamie Lynn Spears, A Thousand Horses, Mark Willis, Brett Young and former Major League Baseball pitcher, Barry Zito.

Team iHeart Country and Team Opry ended in a tie game with a final score of 18 to 18. While  neither team can walk away with bragging rights this year, it is the patients at City of Hope who are the real winners with more than $200,000 raised for cancer research.

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