Jordy Nelson softball game future unclear after star wideout's release from Packers

Shane Nyman
Appleton Post-Crescent
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Jordy Nelson has been the face of the annual charity softball event for four years.

What's in store for this year's Jordy Nelson Charity Softball Game? Time will tell. 

The 32-year-old wide receiver was released Tuesday after 10 seasons with the Green Bay Packers. But Nelson's annual charity softball game is still planned to return June 2 to Neuroscience Group Field at Fox Cities Stadium in Grand Chute.

A spokesman for the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers said Wednesday the plan is still to have the game, but they're waiting for word from Nelson on how they'll move forward. The coming decisions may be determined by what team Nelson lands with now that he's a free agent. 

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The charity game is typically scheduled around the time of the Packers' offseason workouts, meaning most of the players are already in northeast Wisconsin.

Tickets for the June game went on sale in November. More than 4,000 have been sold and only $29 reserved bleacher and $14 general admission grass seats remain.

If nothing changes, it would be the fifth with Nelson at the helm. The yearly tradition was launched in 1994 at Appleton's Goodland Field and was hosted for four years by former defensive back George Teague and, initially, singer Michael Bolton. It moved to Fox Cities Stadium in 1995. 

Brett Favre helped revive the event in 2000 and headlined until leaving Green Bay in 2008. Donald Driver then took over for six years before Nelson stepped in in 2014.

When Driver announced his retirement in January 2013, he still hosted the game in June. (He also returned last summer for a one-off charity contest at Fox Cities Stadium featuring a cast of former NFL players and other celebs.)

With Nelson as the face, the softball slugfest has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for Young Life, an organization that pairs middle, high school and college students with adults for guidance. Last year, the event raised $130,000.

More than 8,000 people packed Fox Cities Stadium for the 2017 game, which ended in a 27-25 win for the offense. Among those taking part were Nelson, Aaron Rodgers, Randall Cobb, Davante Adams, Clay Matthews, Mike Daniels, Mason Crosby and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix. 

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