Monday, September 20, 2010

Jonas Brothers play in softball tour to promote driver safety

LONG BEACH - The stands rang with deafening shrieks when boy band heartthrobs the Jonas Brothers each went up to bat in Blair Field on Sunday.
"Why does he have to be so cute?" sighed 15-year-old Lauren Harting of San Diego as she caught a glimpse of Nick Jonas in his blue and white uniform. "He's just so ... I don't know!"
Hundreds of screaming young girls flocked to Cal State Long Beach's Blair Field near Wilson High School to see music sensations Joe, 21; Kevin, 22; and Nick, 18, play softball with their team the Road Dogs. The game against the Marquis Jet Flyers was part of the brothers' 12-city softball tour this year in support of Allstate insurance's "X the TXT" campaign to educate teens about the dangers of texting while driving. Long Beach was the last stop on the trip.
More than 1,200 free tickets to the game were given away in less two hours on Wednesday to lucky fans who lined up outside the Cal State Long Beach box office.
Decked out in Jonas Brothers T-shirts and holding up signs saying, "I love you Joe!" and "Nick, we have the same birthday!" fans screamed as Nick Jonas hit a ground ball and pulled in safe on first. They booed as the Marquis pitcher caught Kevin Jonas' fly ball.
It was a volume the likes of which Blair Field has probably never seen, said Cal State Long Beach PA announcer Dan Smith, who was working the game that day.
"I've never seen anything like this," Smith said, with a chuckle. "One guy scores a home run but the screams are 10 times louder for Nick Jonas, and he's only going up to bat." During the game, more than a thousand fans joined the brothers in pledging not to text while driving by adding their thumbprint to a banner.
The brothers said they chose to support the campaign to help raise awareness.
"Even if you're not old enough to drive, you can spread the message to your friends and family," Joe Jonas said. "We want everyone to be safe on the roads."
The New Jersey trio have been playing softball with their team over the last few years, but this year they decided to "take it to the next level" by practicing regularly, said Kevin Jonas, who plays pitcher.
All the practicing must have paid off. The Road Dogs won 15-7 on Sunday, pulling in the win for the season and delighting their fans.
"I just think they're amazing. I could watch them all day," said Audricq Mirzaiecq, 15, who was also going the Jonas Brothers concert Sunday night at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in Irvine.
The game even brought out excited moms like Debbie Anderson of Santa Clarita, who came with her 16-year-old daughter Hailey.
"This is bonding time for us," said Anderson, carrying a Jonas Brothers tote bag. "I know Nick is going to be my future son-in-law."



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