The Phillies were out west playing the San Francisco Giants over the weekend, yet more than 25,000 fans showed up to Citizens Bank Park on Friday night.
That's the power of QB1.
Carson Wentz's inaugural charity softball game attracted a big audience and raised over $850,000 for Wentz's A01 Foundation, whose mission statement is to "uplift individuals and communities around the world by demonstrating God's love for his people."
Wentz met some resistance during the planning stages for the game when he suggested he wanted to hold it at either the Phillies' stadium or Lincoln Financial Field, where the Eagles play.
"I know a lot of people were like, 'Ah, it might look weird when it's not filled up.' And I said, 'Trust me, they'll come.' I just know the passion here," said Wentz. "I know the fans are all about the Eagles and everything we stand for and what we've been up to. The support has been unbelievable."
Another demonstration of that support was on display during the event, as Wentz presented a check for $520,000 to Mission of Hope to help fund the building of a sports complex in Haiti. Wentz opened up a public fundraiser that brought in $260,000, which he matched dollar for dollar.
Also unveiled on Friday was the creation of a food truck called "Thy Kingdom Crumb." Beginning in August, it will begin mobilizing to different sections of Philadelphia to hand out free food.
"The goal is to provide that something different, provide a community atmosphere to just love on people," Wentz said. "I think things [that are] free these days are kind of confusing. There's no strings attached with this."
Still rehabbing from a torn ACL and LCL in his left knee, Wentz wasn't able to participate in the home run derby or softball game. He had to settle for a handful of cuts in the cage before the festivities started, knocking a couple over the wall. Offensive lineman Stefen Wisniewski was derby champ with nine homers.
Prior to the game, Wentz had the family of Lukas Kusters, the "Dutch Destroyer," throw out the first pitch.
About half the team, as well as owner Jeffrey Lurie, showed up for the event, a group that included Fletcher Cox, Zach Ertz, Nelson Agholor, Jason Kelce and Nick Foles. Wentz and Jordan Hicks were the captains, and as the picks came and went, Foles still had yet to hear his name called. At the end, it was just he and rookie tight end Dallas Goedert in the dugout. "We're down to the rookie and the Super Bowl MVP. So I'll take the rookie," Wentz joked. It was all apparently by design, as Foles got a huge ovation and chants of "MVP!" as he took the field last.
Wentz's team won by double digits.
The efforts of the AO1 Foundation, launched in 2017, continue to ratchet up. Along with the efforts in Haiti, the softball tournament and the food truck initiative, Wentz is also starting an outdoor camp in North Dakota for those who have overcome youth illnesses.
"The thing about the foundation and everything that comes with it is, that'll hopefully be my whole life, whereas football, there's obviously a time limit on that," he said. "Who knows how long that will be, but I definitely want my legacy to be more about how we served, how we gave back, how we came into this world and hopefully leave it in a better place."