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Jenna Fischer, Billy Bob and others field actual softball questions

Big League Stew

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While the Futures Game was resuming en route to a 7-5 World victory, several of the celebrities from St. Louis answered softball questions (literally) about their appearance in the All-Star Celebrity Softball Game while their pushy publicists hovered from above.

Several snippets from the interviews with four St. Louis-area natives follow below and if you think this whole thing was just a way to post BLS photos of Jenna Fischer and Annie Wersching then, well, you know me much better than I know myself.

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Jenna Fischer, "The Office"

Q: Happy to be back in St. Louis?

A: St. Louis is great. I'm so happy to be back. I was raised here. I went to Nerinx, class of '91, graduated from Truman State University, so I love coming home. It gets better and more beautiful every time I come home. I really mean that.

Q: What's your favorite Cardinals memory?

A: Oh boy, that's a good question. When I was a little girl, during the 1982 World Series, I wrote a poem and called into the radio station and they let me read it on the air.

Q: Can you remember the poem?

A: I wish I could. I feel like it was 'Roses are red, violets are blue, Cardinals ... something.

Q: How does it feel to grow up in St. Louis and play a part in an event like this?

A: It's really special to grow up in St. Louis and be back here. It really is. It's weird.
I haven't even been in the new stadium yet. So to walk out as a player is pretty mind-blowing.

Q: Are you still a Cards fan now that you live in Los Angeles?

A: I am still a Cardinals fan, but I'm a big Dodgers fan too because I've lived there for 13 years. I guess I say that I'm a Dodgers fan unless they're playing the Cardinals and then my heart is with St. Louis

Q: Who are your favorite players right now?

A: Andre Ethier(notes) and James Loney(notes). They're good hitters and I like those guys quite a bit.

Q: If you were to pick one person from "The Office" to be on your team, who would it be?

A: In real life, the guy that plays Kevin, Brian Baumgartner ... he's an excellent athlete. He's a great tennis player, great basketball player. In real life, I'd want him on my team. But in terms of characters, I'd want Dwight's intensity on my team, no question

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Billy Bob Thornton, "Bad Santa"

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Q: Do you enjoy coming here and hanging out with the old baseball players?

A: When I hang out around the movie world, those guys are my peers and it's no big deal. But when I come around this, it's like ... Goose Gossage and things like that, it's just crazy.

Q: What do you think of the decision to have the All-Star Game here in St. Louis?

A: This is a great place to have it because it's a baseball town ... We do have the best fans. So to have it here, just the spirit of the fans, I think it's really a perfect place for it.

Q: How will it feel to play on the same field that Albert Pujols(notes) plays on?

A: It will feel pretty good. Thank God for Albert, huh?

Q: You were a pitcher and a big Bob Gibson fan, right?

A: Gibson's my guy. I threw the first pitch out here in 1998 and we were playing the Braves. Tom Glavine(notes) was pitching. I'll never forget this. We were sitting in the clubhouse with Tony [La Russa] and Mark McGwire and then Gibson comes in. That was the first time I met him and Tony said, "You're the guy's hero. Why don't you catch the ball." I'm sitting there like saying, "Please don't."

So we're on the mound and Gibson's back there and I can't just roll it down there like a politician, you know? So I had to throw him something ... my slider from Gibson's instructional book that I had when I was a kid.

It was maybe two inches off the plate — it was a strike — and Gibson comes out and says "Where did you get that [expletive]?" And I said, "I got if from your instructional book" and he said, "You're kidding me. I wrote a book in the '60s?" After that, he warmed up to me and has always been really gracious to me, telling me stories he doesn't tell everyone else.

Q: Are you able to watch the Cardinals a lot when you're out filming a movie?

A: I'm not big in terms of demanding this, that or the other as an actor, but I have one demand in every contract and that's having satellite in my trailer with the baseball package. I literally watch every Cardinal game, but ... wait, is anyone from Fox here?

(No one from Fox is here)

I never see any of the Cardinals games on Saturdays (due to the MLB blackout rules) because it always seems like the Cardinals get boned every time. I'm always watching the Fox game, which will be like Rangers versus Mariners or something.

Q: You should bring that issue up with MLB while you're here.

A: I may have to.

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Annie Wersching, "24"

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Q: So you were a big Cardinals fan growing up?

A: Huge. Huge. I think I'm batting second, after Vince Coleman and before Ozzie Smith. I mean, what?

Q: You'll have to sacrifice bunt then and get Vince over to third, right?

A: Oh my gosh, yes, if I don't faint.

Q: Do you have any prior softball experience or is this a one-time thing?

A: I played in junior high for a team called Lucky Sluggers. Then I played in an L.A. summer league for a team called the Underdogs.

Q: Who's your favorite Cardinal?

A: Hmm, I love Pujols but everyone says him ... Let me go Skip (Schumaker)

Q: What about all the mustaches they're growing, is that something you're into?

A: Sure.

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Carl Edwards, NASCAR

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Q: They let you into the park wearing that Boston hat?

A: (laughing) I wear the Red Sox hat because I drive for Roush-Fenway and I was actually at John Henry's wedding the other day and he treats me very well. So I have to wear it.

Q: Are there any players you're really excited about meeting at the game?

A: I'm really excited to get to meet Ozzie Smith. I hear he's a little upset at me for stealing his backflip. Hopefully we can work that out and shake hands a little bit.

Q: Did you draw any inspiration from Ozzie for your post-victory backflip?

A: I did. Growing up, I didn't watch a lot of baseball, but I knew who Ozzie Smith was because of his enthusiasm for the game and his backflip just captivated me. My buddy had a poster of it up on his wall and I thought, "Man, that is just unbelievable." Then I saw another race car driver, Tyler Walker(notes), do it after a race and I started doing it and the fans really liked it. I definitely didn't come up with that on my own.

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