Allen Park — After a grueling three-day minicamp, many Detroit Lions players will exchange tackling dummies and route trees for launch angles and exit velocity when punter Sam Martin and defensive tackle A'Shawn Robinson host the team's annual softball game.
The tradition began with former wide receiver Derrick Williams in 2010 and has been carried on by linebacker Stephen Tulloch, wide receiver Nate Burleson, defensive tackle Haloti Ngata and Martin. The event typically pits the team's offensive players against their defensive counterparts, with a home run derby before the game.
This year's game will be held Saturday at King Boring Field, off of Greenfield Road in Dearborn. Tickets are $10 and gates will open at noon.
"It’s a great time to interact with fans," Martin said. "They get to see a different side of us."
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Players will be signing autographs and there will be an inflatable bounce house and face painting for kids. Local food trucks will offer fans lunch options.
Proceeds from the event will go toward Martin's foundation, which works with children with physical and mental disabilities, as well as local animal welfare groups.