STATE COLLEGE - The stars came out to Medlar Field at Lubrano Park for the New York Penn League All-Star Game, but not all of the entrants in that category were on the field - at least not for the game.
One who was on the field - albeit not the kind he's accustomed to - was former Penn State placekicker and soccer player Chris Bahr, who was in the celebrity home run derby. He felt his brother Casey would have been a better candidate for that role.
"He went to the Naval Academy. Both the Orioles and the Red Sox wanted to sign him," Bahr said of his brother. "I couldn't reach that post when I was 20. It's a big park."
Bahr, who counts two Super Bowl wins and a season of pro soccer on his resume, moved back to State College 20 years ago. He got into this event through his son, a Spikes intern and - surprise - placekicker at Slippery Rock University.
"Like everything else, he just wanted to do it. Sometimes he likes it, sometimes he hates it," Bahr said. But he knows what he likes: "I like living here. Nobody knows me anymore. The celebrity part is all gone."
Another special guest was Kent Tekulve. The former Pirate and Phillie player - whose career started at Geneva, N.Y., a former NYPL team - was an honorary manager for the National League.
"I'm kind of right back where I started," he said. "It's nice to be around the New York Penn League All-Star Game. These are kids obviously, at least at this stage, who have been successful and figured out how to get people out."
In fact, he explained, that's all they really need to do - no different than his days in pro ball.
"To be successful as a professional pitcher is real simple: You figure out a way to get people out. If you can do that, they will let you play for a long time and they pay you a lot of money," he explained.
And, he said, games like this will be commonplace for a small percentage of these players - the ones who will stay in baseball.
"If they're going to get to the big league, they're going to play in a lot of all-star games over time," he said. "This is just a first step for them."
Tekulve fondly recalls his days playing at opposite ends of the Keystone State, when the Pirates and Phillies were constant contenders. But he was worried how the big rivalry would play out when he was traded.
"The interesting part was getting traded from one team to the other, and not knowing exactly how the fans would feel about it. For years I was the bad guy in Philadelphia," he joked, but said he was well accepted and treated there.
Still, it's the Spikes home team that remains his favorite.
"We won a world championship, so obviously it puts that on top," he said. "But the time with the Phillies was very well spent."
Although he was only on the field to do his job - and would quickly insist he's not a star - Spikes radio announcer Steve Jones completed a sports broadcasting trifecta with the all-star game. The game finished a calendar year that included the Rose Bowl and the NIT men's basketball championship game, both of which he called in his role as Penn State's primary sports voice.
"I've been extremely lucky this year. I've been very fortunate that I've had the opportunity to be around big events," he said. "That's because the people I've been with have done very well, and I've just been along for the ride."
Jones, who called the 2006 Eastern League All-Star Game, said a game like this isn't much harder than a regular-season contest, despite the roster changes and the fact that so many teams are involved.
"I've seen almost all these players. The first three innings are a piece of cake. The lineups are set, the batting order is set," he explained. "The game then becomes trickier from about the fourth inning on. It's not a question of who's in the field now, it's where they are in the batting order."
He may be thought of first for football and basketball, but Jones said this sport fuels a passion that started when he grew up in New England as a Red Sox fan.
"That's a long deep-seated passion. I went to my first baseball game in 1963 at Fenway Park when I was 5 years old," he said. "I saw Mickey Mantle hit a home run right handed. I never saw my father jump higher - he was actually a Yankees fan. So doing this in the summer is an absolute pleasure."
One that he enjoys with each glance out the press box window.
"It's a joy to sit and here look out at Mount Nittany over the center field fence, watch young players get better and to call baseball," he said.