The Annual Battle For Vegas Charity Softball game is a summer reunion for Golden Knights fans, current players, and former players. Emotions were higher than in years past since the Golden Knights won the Stanley Cup. It was also a bittersweet night for Reilly Smith and fans because Smith was traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins just after the Golden Knights won the Stanley Cup.
Nevertheless, a wonderful time was had by all.
The weekend started with a Fan Fest on the Lawn at Downtown Summerlin that featured Golden Knights, Raiders, and UNLV players. It was a festival-type environment with entertainment, food trucks, and activities for kids.
Fans had an opportunity to bid on all sorts of unique items, including hats that were thrown onto Jonathan Marchessault’s lawn after his playoff hat trick, signed jerseys, and packages donated from various Las Vegas Casinos. Proceeds from the auction and the charity softball game will support the Vegas Golden Knights Foundation, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southern Nevada, and the Public Education Fund. The silent auction raised approximately $89,000.
Players from the Golden Knights and Raiders spent a good hour signing autographs for fans up and down the first- and third-base lines. This was many fans’ first opportunity to get up close with the players since the Golden Knights won the Stanley Cup.
First up was the home run derby. The Golden Knights defeated the Raiders and Athletics 37-19-13. Former Golden Knight Dylan Coghlan had 17 home runs, many of which cleared the big wall in left field.
The Raiders got off to a fast start leading 10-1 after the top of the second inning. The Golden Knights got 10 runs across the plate to take an 11-10 lead after two innings of play. The Golden Knights faced a five-run deficit in the bottom of the fourth and rallied for eight runs to take a 20-17 lead. Former Oakland Athletic Terrance Long gave the Vegas Golden Knights the win with a walk-off home run in the bottom of the fifth inning.
Smith was honored between the third and fourth innings with a moving tribute video with his wife and 1-year-old daughter at his side.