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Chiefs’ Louis Rees-Zammit had never swung a softball bat. He called his shot on home run

Chiefs safety Justin Reid smiled and said he sensed “redemption.”

On Thursday evening, the Kansas City Chiefs went from the football field to the softball diamond at the Kansas City Monarchs’ Legends Field, and all for a good cause: a charity softball game co-hosted by Reid and right guard Trey Smith.

Thursday’s game was the second iteration of the event. Last year’s game was hosted by former wide receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling. Both games saw the same showdown, offense vs. defense, in what looks to be a budding rivalry.

Last year, with the help of quarterback Patrick Mahomes, the Chiefs’ offense decimated the defense in a 22-6 win. But this time, there was no Mahomes. The defense’s roster outnumbered the offense’s by eight. Reid predicted greatness and a “win — at all costs.”

“Doesn’t matter if you gotta bite, claw, scratch, cheat,” Reid said, “whatever it takes, find a way.”

Kansas City linebacker Nick Bolton celebrates a home run during the Kansas City Charity Softball Game on June 6, 2024, at Legends Field in Kansas City, Kansas.
Kansas City linebacker Nick Bolton celebrates a home run during the Kansas City Charity Softball Game on June 6, 2024, at Legends Field in Kansas City, Kansas.

Players trickled toward the field — defense in white, offense in red. They signed seatbacks and a shining replica of the Lombardi Trophy. The skies were clear, and defense was up first to bat. Linebacker Drue Tranquill did not disappoint, crushing an early home run, while the offense went scoreless in the first.

But the Chiefs’ offense didn’t make things easy — and it seemed to have a new star.

Louis Rees-Zammit (pronounced: lewis reese zammit, like ham-it), the Welsh-rugby-pro-turned-Chiefs-rookie, had only swung a cricket bat before stepping to the plate last night. But first he showed some verve.

“Wait for this next shot,” Rees-Zammit told the crowd.

Rees-Zammit then nailed his own sailing home run (one of three last night) over gloves in the outfield. He rounded the bases into a glorious red tunnel of teammates.

As a multi-sport athlete, Rees-Zammit was excited about more than softball last night. He wore a Sporting Kansas City kit under his red jersey, and could later be seen on the sideline juggling a softball with his feet as if it were a soccer ball.

And of course, there’s the upcoming football season.

Like the softball on the sideline, Rees-Zammit has been working on his kicking — something that could potentially come into use with the NFL’s new kickoff rules.

“I was kicking on the sideline, kicking before practice,” Rees-Zammit said. “I’m someone who can kick the ball. It’s an option. Whether (Coach) takes it or not is different, but you know, I’m gonna keep working hard to kick.”

For most of the night, offense and defense met each other blow for blow. After some mishandled fly balls — and the ball getting lost in the overhead sun — the offense came back from five runs down to lead 10-8 in the third inning.

Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Drue Tranquill (right) celebrates a home run during the Kansas City Charity Softball Game on Thursday, June 6, 2024, at Legends Field in Kansas City, Kansas.
Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Drue Tranquill (right) celebrates a home run during the Kansas City Charity Softball Game on Thursday, June 6, 2024, at Legends Field in Kansas City, Kansas.

The teams played to five innings, with the score tied 14-all in the fifth. The defense erupted for 10 runs, hitting home runs with the bases loaded. Players cruised through the diamond in what turned into a 24-17 win for the defense.

The game raised over $200,000 for Reid’s charity foundation, JReid Indeed, which benefits Kansas City area youth, and Uncornered, which works to eliminate violence. Kids in the stands scrambled to the front row while players like Trent McDuffie signed souvenirs through the net and waved.

“It’s a win-win for all parties,” Reid said.