Firefighters Join Special Olympics Softball Team for Annual ‘Heroes Game'

Poway firefighters and the Poway Padres, a gold medal Special Olympics team, joined together under the Friday night lights for the second annual Heroes softball game.

It was held at the Sportsplex USA complex in Poway. The game was previously known as 'Jack-o-smash,' with celebrity guest players, but now it's called the Heroes Softball Game.

"It's a community event that brings us all together," said Captain Chuy Ramirez, with the Poway Fire Department.

Ramirez tells NBC 7 the competition is high out on the field, which is why organizers divide the teams equally, with firefighters and Special Olympians on each team.

"The Poway Padres have, and I think people should know, have won more awards, more competitions than the San Diego Padres ever have," Jim Cunningham said jokingly, the announcer of the game.

Barry Cunningham and Matthew Murphy have been teammates for more than five years.

"This guy's Mr. Home Run," joked Barry.

Friday night, they played against each other, but their bond and love for the game was at the forefront.

"We won't be playing together tonight, but on the field, as a team, we all play as a family. Family comes first," said Barry.

And that's what the team has become, according to Barry's mother, Jodi Campillo, who calls the Poway Padres a family. She said Barry had been counting down the days until the game.

"Having a crowd here, it just fuels their fire, and they get so excited. They feel like celebrities," Campillo said.

She said the game has become a tradition that will continue to grow in the community.

"I just want to say thank you to the firefighters and all the people around the world watching us. This is a good cause, next year if you guys have time, please come and support us," said Barry.

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