Owensboro native Jason Koger, a senior bilateral amputee who is now a national motivational speaker, plays in the Celebrity Softball Classic Saturday in Arlington, Texas. The Classic benefits the Plis d’Honneur and the Veterinarians for the Relief of Children.
“I always love doing charity events no matter what it is,” Koger said. “It’s a great opportunity to share my story.
Koger used his story to inspire others and share the message of resilience after a tragedy. He said he is honored to be invited to play for this cause.
“I might not play a lot,” he said. “I just want to show them that my accident didn’t stop me. I was not asked because I am a big celebrity. The man who asked me to play said that I inspired him and he wanted me to inspire others.
According to the event’s website, the family event features mixed teams with players who are professional athletes, musicians, and actors from film / television or reality shows.
The first game of the day will be a co-ed game of veteran celebrities comprised of “America’s top veteran influencers who have had incredible military careers.” The second game of the day will be a celebrity softball game.
Koger’s teammates include NFL players from the Dallas Cowboys, Houston Texans and Chicago Bears, as well as several television personalities and a survivor of the Boston Marathon bombing.
“All the celebrities who will be here are really cool; one of the event coordinators told me that there isn’t a celebrity playing this game who thinks she’s too good or stuck, ”Koger said. “They will take pictures with you or sign autographs. We are all here for the same reason.
When a prosthetic company offered to make him special attachments for the game, Koger was very grateful.
“A company called Fillauer Prosthetics contacted me and made a special glove for the game. I also have a special attachment from them so that I can hold a baseball bat,” Koger said.
Koger, who hasn’t played softball since his accident, said he finally gave it a try last week.
“My son Axel and I went out into the yard – he threw and I hit,” Koger said. “I asked my daughters to film me. It was my very first time putting on softball arm restraints. It’s not about winning or losing against me; it goes to a good cause.
When asked what position he wanted to play in, Koger joked that he would go where the ball doesn’t go very often.
“I told them to put me in the right field,” Koger said.
Ultimately, the Celebrity Softball Classic organization is happy that the event can take place this year. Koger was supposed to play last year, but matches have been called off due to COVID-19.
“It’s nice to be a part of something that I’ve never been a part of before,” he said. “It’s rare to find a bilateral arm amputee, but there are still a lot of interesting things that we can do. “