Every year we look forward to the Reckless Kelly Celebrity Softball Jam here in the Sports Capital of Texas! It’s the 10th and final year for the annual charity event at Dell Diamond on September 23, 2018, and we were able to sit down with Reckless Kelly’s own Cody Braun to talk about this unique concert and the impact it’s made over the years.
This is the 10th year for the Reckless Kelly Celebrity Softball Jam! Can you tell us a little bit about how the event started ten years ago?
In 2008, my brother Willy and I were at a Round Rock game with some friends and met some of the folks who were working at the Dell Diamond. We ended up taking a tour and talked about how fun it would be to get a few of our friends up there to play a game on the field. So we started thinking about it, and since all of our friends are musicians, we might as well make it a celebrity game and do a little concert afterward. It started out with one stage in the outfield, and we really had no idea if it was just going to be something for fun, or if it would really take off. I think we had 6,000 people show up our first year, so it was a huge success right from the beginning and a lot of fun. We kept it going and we’re really happy with how big of an impact it’s made over the last ten years.
Did the Softball Jam start out as a charity event?
It did. It’s always been 100% for charity, and all the artists and athletes have donated their time to the event. We founded the Reckless Kelly Charitable Youth Foundation a couple of years into it, then worked with the Nolan Ryan Foundation over the last several years. We partnered with RBI, Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities, and were able to rebuild one of the oldest little league fields in Austin. We’ve also worked with The Miracle League, who we’re working with again this year, and they build baseball fields for special needs kids.
What has kept you coming back to the Sports Capital of Texas for the Softball Jam?
Taking on an event this size, it has to be in a venue that can handle thousands of people like the Dell Diamond, so being able to utilize that beautiful ballpark has been awesome. Our partnership with Ryan Sanders Baseball and the folks at Dell Diamond has just been awesome, and they’ve been really supportive over the years. We couldn’t have done it without them.
Do you have a favorite part of the event?
The music is always my favorite part. I get to get on stage and jam with a lot of people. I play fiddle and mandolin in Reckless Kelly, and the music is always really loose and there’s a lot of jamming going on during the show. I’m not much of an athlete anymore and it’s all in fun, so no one takes it too seriously. Between the charities and getting all our friends together once a year to play softball, it’s been a really fun way to give back to the community.
Do the musicians play in the softball game, and then perform on stage afterward?
Yeah! All of the bands and athletes play in the game. We have two teams: My brother Willy is the manager of the One Hit Wonders, and I’m the manager of the Sultans of Sing. We’ve had a lot of return artists every year and built up a good rivalry between the two teams. All of the athletes and artists play nine innings, then we open up the field and all of the fans come down. We have two stages now, right out in the outfield, and we all play music till about dark, around 9 o’clock.
What do you look forward to when you visit the Sports Capital of Texas?
Round Rock Donuts and Salt Lick BBQ! But really, we just love it up there. We’ve been going out to the ballpark now for well over ten years, we filmed an old music video up there, and we’ve played up around that area a ton at some of those older dance halls. We’ve been in Austin for 22 years, so it’s nice to be able to come up to a place that’s so close to Austin and it feels like you’re on vacation.
What has kept Reckless Kelly motivated to put on this event for ten years?
I would say the charities for sure. Getting to know the organizations and the people in it, and watching them grow into successful organizations that touch a lot of kids’ lives. RBI and The Miracle League are two that have touched me the most and have been the most fun to work with and see grow. We’re definitely going to continue to work with those organizations that we have strong connections to after this year, just in different ways.
Don’t miss your final opportunity to experience this celebration of sports, music, and charity on September 23! Tickets are available for purchase now at this link.
Joining the 10th anniversary Jam are musicians Jack Ingram, Micky & The Motorcars, Cody Canada, Midnight River Choir, Jamie Wilson, Wade Bowen, George Devore, Mike & the Moonpies, Bonnie Whitmore and more. Former MLB stars John Lackey, Brooks Kieschnick, Norm Charlton, Randy Wells and Glenn Wilson, Sr. will join former NFL and Texas Longhorns standout Kasey Studdard on the field. Long Drive World Championship competitor Glenn Wilson, Jr. will also be on hand for the festivities.