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Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce, Eric Hosmer, ‘SNL’ stars set for biggest Big Slick ever

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Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce, Eric Hosmer, ‘SNL’ stars set for biggest Big Slick ever
Lisa Gutierrez

If Kansas City’s Big Slick Celebrity Weekend gets any bigger organizers will have to turn it into an entire week.

The annual fundraiser celebrates 15 years Friday and Saturday with its biggest lineup yet — more than 50 stars, including three “ringers” for the softball games whom Royals fans will recognize.

And come on. If someone doesn’t shout, “Live from KC, it’s Saturday Night!,” from the T-Mobile Center stage, well, it’s an opportunity missed because the contingent of former and current “Saturday Night Live” cast members is the biggest subset of stars coming.

Kudos to the obviously persuasive Heidi Gardner, the Kansas City native and current “SNL” cast member who became an official Big Slick co-host last year. Castmates Ego Nwodim, James Austin Johnson (will he do his Donald Trump impersonation?),Devon Walker and Molly Kearney are Big Slick first-timers.

Other newcomers include Dustin from “Stranger Things” (Gaten Matarazzo) and Superman’s gal pal Lois Lane (Bitsie Tulloch).

Gaten Matarazzo, left, who plays Dustin on “Stranger Things,” will appear at Big Slick this weekend. The Netflix series is filming its fifth and final season.
Gaten Matarazzo, left, who plays Dustin on “Stranger Things,” will appear at Big Slick this weekend. The Netflix series is filming its fifth and final season.
Actor/comedian Kumail Nanjiani (“The Big Sick”), comedian/actor Fortune Feimster (“The Mindy Project”) and “Roastmaster General” Jeff Ross are also first-timers.

Last year’s event, which boasted the biggest slate of celebrity guests to date, helped Big Slick raise more than $3.5 million, a record. Big Slick has raised more than $20 million, helping to attract top medical and research talent by exposing a national audience to the work of the Children’s Mercy Research Institute.

It began in 2010 as a celebrity poker tournament and has become the biggest celebrity event of the year in Kansas City.

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Here’s the lowdown of this year’s event.

Hometown hosts
The event’s KC-connected hosts — Gardner, David Koechner, Eric Stonestreet, Paul Rudd, Rob Riggle and Jason Sudeikis (an “SNL” alum) — tap colleagues from their TV and Hollywood gigs, even their own families.

Sudeikis’ uncle, George Wendt of “Cheers” fame, will return to participate in a reunion of “Bill Swerski’s Superfans,” the “Saturday Night Live” skit whose characters famously cheer for “da Bears.”

Wendt, who grew up in Chicago and attended Rockhurst College, will appear with fellow superfan, comedian and Big Slick regular Robert Smigel (the voice of Triumph the Comic Insult Dog) and unnamed “special guests.”

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Friday night: Celebrity softball game
In previous years, Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes and tight end Travis Kelce have smashed home runs in the Big Slick softball game at The K.

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Alas, they are not scheduled to play this year. The Chiefs will be at the White House earlier in the day for a repeat visit as Super Bowl champs.

Though their fans will miss them, Big Slick organizers are bringing in three guys who know a lot more about pitching, throwing and batting at the K.

Eric Hosmer, Jeremy Guthrie, and Mike Moustakas, members of the 2015 World Series champion team, will be in the lineup.

Joining them in adding some “legit athleticism,” as organizers said, will be Lo’eau LaBonta, midfielder for the Kansas City Current women’s soccer team.

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