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True Blue: Celebs, 17K Fans Turn Out To Support NYPD

NEW YORK (WFAN) -- It was much more than a game -- or four of them.

More than 17,000 fans showed up to Yankee Stadium on Wednesday night to show their appreciation for the NYPD and honor fallen officers Brian Moore, Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu.

The "True Blue" celebrity softball game, organized by WFAN's Boomer Esiason and Craig Carton, had a big-league atmosphere and raised big-time funds for the families of New York's Finest.

"I am honored to speak for my generation," said Savannah Solis, a 10-year-old from Tyler, Texas, who made hundreds of thank-you cards after Liu and Ramos were killed in December. "My goal is to tell as many police officers as I can that I love them."


WFAN/Boomer & Carton True Blue Charity Game
WFAN morning radio hosts Boomer Esiason and Craig Carton hosted a charity softball game at Yankee Stadium to honor the memories of NYPD officers Brian Moore, Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos, who were recently lost in the line of duty. (Photo: Mark Mason, CBS Local)

Proceeds from the game -- "hundreds of thousands of dollars," Carton said Thursday morning -- will benefit the Silver Shield Foundation, the NYC PBA Widows' and Children's Fund, and the families of Moore, Ramos and Liu. Use of the Stadium came free of charge, courtesy of the Yankees, and half the concession revenue was donated toward the cause.

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"Our hearts break every single day that we have to hear of another cop injured in the line of duty," Esiason said to kick off the event, which was broadcast live by Joe Benigno, Evan Roberts and play-by-play man Chris Carrino on WFAN. "And that's one of the reasons, if not the biggest reason, that we're here tonight."

The Moore, Ramos and Liu families threw out the ceremonial first pitches to a huge ovation, with New York baseball greats Joe Torre, Bernie Williams and John Franco making up the other end of the battery.

"My dad and my oldest brother were both police officers, so it's a proud moment for me to be here," Torre told 1010 WINS.

So many celebrities agreed to participate that four games had to be scheduled against the 1st, 84th and 105th Precincts and the Detectives' Endowment Association.

"Last night was one of the most moving events that I have ever attended. You guys made cops feel good about being cops again," DEA president Michael Palladino told Boomer and Carton. "With all the political rhetoric ... against law enforcement these days, that young lady (Solis) made it real and brought it all back into perspective."

Detectives' Endowment Association President Michael Palladino

The WFAN squad, led by MVP Chris Christie -- aka the governor of New Jersey -- took the first contest before dropping the final three to the NYPD.

True Blue: Celebs, 17K Fans Turn Out To Support NYPD

"Spring chicken, I'm not so sure about," Christie said on Thursday morning's "Boomer & Carton" show. "Here's what I said to (Buffalo Bills head coach) Rex Ryan afterward -- we made a pact to each other in the locker room before the game that we just were not going to embarrass ourselves -- you know, if you keep the bar low enough, you can exceed expectations."

The Twitter hashtag #TrueBlue was trending in New York on Wednesday night.

"We want to thank everybody for coming out to show the world that we support the NYPD," said Carton, whose emotions showed as he walked off the field arm-in-arm with Esiason.

Officer Chris D'Antonio told CBS2 that he was in attendance not only to represent his fallen brothers, but to show there are "good people left in the community." Another officer from the 105th Precinct said he was happy for the show of solidarity after a "rough" stretch for the NYPD.

"Any time we have a loss of life, it's an awful tragedy," Gov. Christie told 1010 WINS. "And if we can do stuff to help their families afterwards, it's our obligation to do it."

Country star Jessie James Decker sang the national anthem and her husband, New York Jets wide receiver Eric Decker, was also a participant. Jets coach Todd Bowles and general Mike Maccagnan showed up, too.


The New York Giants were represented by two-time Super Bowl winning head coach Tom Coughlin, who coached third base and said on WFAN that he planned to be aggressive, no matter who was running.

"I have an opportunity to say thank you again, represent the New York Giants, and tell every police officer I can find how much I support them, and appreciate what they do," Coughlin told CBS2.

Everyone in uniform wore patches on their caps and jerseys for Moore, Ramos and Liu.

Other participants included:

-- Giants punter Steve Weatherford

-- Buffalo Bills head coach Rex Ryan

-- Rutgers head coach Kyle Flood and former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani

-- Nets center Mason Plumlee

-- CBS2 anchors Chris Wragge and Kristine Johnson

-- Broadcaster Kenny Albert and ex-NFL QB Chris Simms

-- O.A.R.'s Marc Roberge

-- St. John's head coach Chris Mullin

-- 1010 WINS reporter Juliet Papa and Knicks great John Starks

-- Comedian Artie Lange

-- Former pro wrestler Taz

-- Former major league player and manager Willie Randolph

-- Former Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Bill Cowher

-- Olympian Sarah Hughes

-- And, of course, the NYPD


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