Some of Major League Baseball’s greatest players dug their cleats into the grass and kicked up dust at Cuccioli Field on the Ridgefield Playhouse campus.
The 7th Annual Bernie Williams Day which included a celebrity ballgame, barbeque and concert, was sold out and another homerun for our community. What’s more, the event served as the kickoff to the Playhouse 20 for 20 Arts in Education fundraising campaign; the goal of which is to raise $200,00 enabling the Playhouse to welcome 20,000 to experience live performances and educational programs - for free.
Famed New York Yankees Centerfielder and Latin Grammy nominee, Bernie Williams was today’s star, bringing his MLB friends to the plate including 1996 World Series champions Mariano Rivera, Charlie Hays and Cecil Fielder, legendary Yankees player and coach Willie Randolph, Met’s all-time great Mookie Wilson, 4x World Series Champ Jeff Nelson, and powerhouse Yankees hitter Ruben Sierra.
Before the first pitch was thrown by Stewie the [Stew Leonard’s] duck, First Selectman Rudy Marconi read a proclamation officially calling August 5 “Bernie Williams Day” in the Town of Ridgefield.
Acclaimed jazz trumpeter and musician Senica Black played The National Anthem and then - game ON!
Clad in handsome jerseys created and designed by Tiger Sports, the players including MLB greats, media pros and celebs, shared fist bumps, high fives and laughs as they were swinging, fielding and running the bases. Bernie was even traded halfway through the game so players on both sides could have time with the five-time All-Star.
Following the game, there was a VIP cookout under the tent outside of the Playhouse. Attendees sat at long picnic tables bedecked with red and white checkers. An array of food including cookout-style as well as sandwiches and salads was provided by Stew Leonard’s. Beverage stands offered Aperol Spritz cocktails, margaritas, beer, as well as Bernie Williams' signature wines (Millbrook Vineyards).
When the clock struck 4:00 pm, concertgoers were ushered into the Ridgefield Playhouse where Bernie swapped his baseball glove for his electric guitar!
The event would not have been possible without the amazing Playhouse team who worked behind the scenes to make today one of the greatest Bernie Williams days in history. In addition, thank you to the event’s major sponsor, the Donofrio family. Additional sponsors included Stew Leonard’s and BMW of Ridgefield (who made the VIP cookout delicious), M&T Bank, Ridgefield Supply, Sierra Pacific, Aperol Spritz, Farmers’ Insurance, Orange Theory, Chris Curnan, Storm Surge Media, and Key Bank.