I am a man of many blessings and one for which I am and will always be grateful evermore is an ability to view the world through the eyes and heart of the ten-year old boy who still lives in me. There is nothing which brings him out more than my yearly privilege to handle the responsibilities of emcee at the Otto Graham Memorial Putting Contest for the Plantation Foundation Celebrity Classic every February.
The tournament is in its third decade and since the inception of the foundation, over $2,000,000 has been raised.
The putting green is laid out in a nine-hole challenge where celebrity pairs competed to best the score shot by Plantation’s Director of Golf Operations Keith Struble and Head Pro Mike Domalski. Yesterday they shot 17.
The Voice of the Red Sox, Joe Castiglione, hits his putt on the first hole of the challenge.
Castiglione is entering his 29th year as the radio voice of the Red Sox. An astute student of the history of baseball, Joe has collected an extensive library on the games history. He recently donated over 400 books about baseball to the Boston Public Library.
The team of Rookies of the Year, finish up their ninth hole of the challenge. Gary Peters (left) and Don Schwall paired up for this event.
Schwall pitched for the Red Sox in 1961 going 15-7 and winning the American League Rookie of the Year Award. Don pitched in the 1961 All Star Game at Fenway Park and struck out Hall of Famer Stan Musial. Peters pitched for the Red Sox in 1971, 72 and 73 after being acquired from the White Sox; with whom he was the American League Rookie of the Year in 1963 when he was 19-8. Gary was a two-time all-star with the White Sox and he was an outstanding hitting pitcher clouting 19 career home runs.
Rico Petrocelli, Red Sox shortstop of the 1967 American League Champs and third baseman of the 1975 pennant winners.
Rico joined the Red Sox in 1963 and played through the 1976 season. A member of the 1965 all-star team he hit 40 home runs in 1969 becoming the first American League shortstop to crack the 40 home run barrier. A long time Fenway favorite, Rico hit 210 career home runs.
Sam Jones (right) confers with his partner Cazzie Russell before the contest begins.
Sam played for the Boston Celtics for 12 seasons from 1957-1969. He won ten World Championship rings with the Celtics including eight in a row from 1959-1966. In 1984 he was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame and in 1996 he was named one of the 50 greatest players in the history of the NBA. Cazzie was one of the greatest college basketball players of all time and the overall number one pick of the New York Knicks in 1966. He played 12 seasons in the NBA and was a member of the 1970 World Champion New York Knicks.
“Jungle Jim” Rivera, 89 years young, selects his ball for the putting contest.
Jim broke in with the St. Louis Browns in 1952 and was traded to the White Sox the following year. He played 10 seasons in the big leagues and was a member of the 1959 “Go Go” White Sox American League champs.
Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto confers with event co-ordinator Ron Noble.
Votto played in the event for the first time this year. The 2010 National League MVP is a two-time all star and he has led the national league in on base percentage the last two seasons.
Plantation Golf and Country Club Director of Golf Operations Keith Struble.
Keith summed up the events of the day best when he said the real winner of the day was the Plantation Foundation and the countless charities they serve. Oh, and I forgot to tell you about what happened when 1967 met 2012. Tomorrow…..
And so it is on this day in Fenway Park history, the day when the greens of the Plantation, met the greens of the outfield grass, February 10, 2012.