- Associated Press - Monday, June 23, 2014

NEW YORK (AP) - New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, playing at a celebrity softball game at Yankee Stadium, proved Monday that he can still catch.

The governor’s “Team Boomer,” headed by WFAN radio co-hosts “Boomer” Esiason and Craig Carton, eked out a 7-6 win against players from the Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball Team and New York Yankees alumni at the fourth annual Bombers Boomer Broadway Softball Classic.

Christie, who was a star catcher in high school and continues to be a baseball fan, appeared enthusiastic throughout the game, particularly when playing third base in the mostly empty ballpark.

After several fumbles early on, Christie wound up making a crucial catch to end the 7th inning, helping his team to victory.

“We had the game on the line. Ground ball to third, man on first and second. He bobbled it a little bit but made the play and got the out,” said Carton, a longtime friend of the governor, who assured reporters Christie had “held his own.”

As he warmed up before the game, Christie, who was inducted last year into the Little League Hall of Excellence, said he was happy to have a break from Trenton and that he hoped he wouldn’t get injured on the field. Afterward, he seemed pleased with his performance. “We won, so it went just fine,” said Christie, who wore No. 55 because he is the state’s 55th governor.

Esiason gave Christie an A-plus for efforts, but he joked the governor’s execution “probably should be a little bit better. But at the end of the day, he’s here for the right reason, and that’s all I care about,” he said.

He also heaped praise on the governor for participating in the game, which he estimated had raised between $30,000 and $40,000 for cystic fibrosis research.

“Not many politicians would go out there on third base and put himself in the line of fire like that,” Esiason said.

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