Drake's softball game to help Astros UYA

Houston alumni Sampson, Backe to play in music star's charity event

Drake's softball game to help Astros UYA

HOUSTON -- Grammy Award-winning and platinum-selling recording artist Drake will play host to a celebrity softball game as part of his second annual Houston Appreciation Weekend on May 22, benefiting the Astros Urban Youth Academy.

The game, scheduled for 7 p.m. CT, will take place at the University of Houston's Cougar Field and will include a home run derby beginning at 6 p.m.

In addition to Drake, several notable names from sports and entertainment will participate in the game, including Astros alumni Chris Sampson and Brandon Backe, Houston Texans players Duane Brown and Darryl Morris Jr., NFL players Dwayne Bowe, Taylor Gabriel, Marlon Moore and Le'Ron McClain and rap stars P. Reign and Kirko Bangz.

The players are subject to change, and more celebrities and current and former pro athletes will be added to the rosters in the coming days.

Drake has deep roots in Houston, a city that was essential to launching his music career and where he began building his empire with the encouragement of longtime Astros supporter and community activist Bun B among others.

The Astros Foundation will also run a raffle and auction, with all proceeds benefiting the Urban Youth Academy, which provides free baseball and softball instruction, life-skills training and academic support to Houston youth, with a focus on serving inner-city and at-risk children and teens.

Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.