Look out, Puppy Bowl. There’s a brand new game in town, and come this Sunday afternoon, this new Mid-Summer Classic could gain on the canine contest’s popularity with cat-like quickness.
Baseball has always been known as professional team sports’ most leisurely game, and that certainly fits in with the feline lifestyle. So it was only natural that there would be a kitty All-Star Game, and the Hallmark Channel is all over it, with the premiere of the “Paw Star Game” this Sunday at 5 p.m. EST.
Airing two days before Major League Baseball holds its annual All-Star Game in Cincinnati, the Paw Star Game gathers some of the biggest names in cat baseball to show off their hitting and fielding prowess.
Not to mention a cat’s favorite baseball play: defensive indifference.
Where else will you find such household cats with legendary household names such as Joe DiMeowgio, Roberto Clawmente, Cartlon Frisky, Roger Clawmens, Cy-Amese Young, and Don Cattingly; as well as current starts Mike Troutbreath, Clayton Kerclaw and Derek Cheetah?
Hosted by TV personality and North Shore Animal League America spokesperson Beth Stern, the Paw Star Game features four teams of cats, as well as a group of “legends” players, with all the action on the field described by New York Yankees radio play-by-play voice John Sterling and veteran sports commentator Mary Carillo.
Unlike the Puppy Bowl, the Paw Star Game features several celebrity fans cheering on the players, including Ed Asner, Maria Menounos, Mario Lopez, Al Roker, Heather McDonald, Tricia Helfer, Deidre Hall, Dawn Olivieri and Camren Bicondova.
But the true All-Stars are on the field, and fans can watch a Hall-of-Fame collection of video highlights on the Paw Star Game website. Located in the Cat Center, the clips include highlights of great Paw Star Game classics – who could ever forget Kirk Kitson’s dramatic walk-off homer in 1988? – “cat-lete” player profiles, regular-season moments and a preview of Sunday’s showdown.
Here are the rosters for the inaugural Paw Star Game:
Gold Crown Catamounts
North Shore Bengals
About the author: Jeff Goldberg is a freelance writer in Quincy, Mass. A former editor for MLB.com and sportswriter for the Hartford Courant who covered the University of Connecticut’s women’s basketball team (Huskies!) and the Boston Red Sox, Jeff has authored two books on the UConn women: Bird at the Buzzer (2011) and Unrivaled (2015). He lives with his wife, Susan, and their rescue pup, Rocky, an Italian Greyhuahua/Jack Russell mix from a foster home in Tennessee, hence the name Rocky (as in Rocky Top).