BROCKTON — Former Patriots running back Kevin Faulk was back in Massachusetts on Saturday night, reviving his Celebrity Softball Game at Campanelli Stadium.
Faulk, a fan favorite and one of the most reliable offensive players during New England’s current era of success, played his last game in 2011.
Though it had been several years since he last hosted the softball game, Faulk said he was happy to bring it back.
“It’s an event we started five or six years ago and we had a successful event, then . . . I think it was [the 2011 lockout] that happened that offseason and I kept it on hold,” Faulk said. “I kept meeting fans over the course of time asking me when I’m going to bring it back, and it came through, companies came and Brockton Rox opened their stadium again and here we are. Hopefully we have great success and we continue doing it each and every year.”
More than a dozen current Patriots players, including Chandler Jones, Stevan Ridley, Shane Vereen, Julian Edelman, Jerod Mayo, Dont’a Hightower, and rookie Jimmy Garoppolo, were on hand, as were former Patriots Matt Chatham, Russ Hochstein, Garin Veris, Ed Ellis, and Bob Cantu.
“That goes to show you: what you did while you were playing, those guys recognize it and respect who you are as a player on the football field,” Faulk said of the support from players.
Ridley and Vereen, whom Faulk mentored during his final season, are both heading into the final year of their rookie contract. Faulk wants his former charges to focus on the field.
“You can’t think about that; you can’t put that pressure on yourself,” Faulk said. “You just have to go through the football season and have fun playing right now and enjoy the season and pray for success.”
Proceeds from the event benefit the Kevin Faulk Foundation.Shalise Manza Young can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.