Saturday, September 26, 2009

Review of the 3rd Annual Sports Angels Inspiration Awards Dinner Honoring Rod Gilbert

Sports Angels Award ProgramRod Gilbert Addresses The CrowdFood Pantry Receives $25,000 From Sports AngelsJessica Abo of NY1This Wednesday evening brought a packed house to Cipriani's on Wall Street to support the Sports Angels Foundation. Over 30 tables were filled with supporters of the charity to raise money for local youth sports programs in need. Former New York Ranger and Hall of Famer Rod Gilbert was honored with the Inspiration Award for his work with the Garden of Dreams Foundation. Receiving the Community Award was Bobby Hoffman for his efforts with Manhattan Youth Baseball.

The emcee for the event was NY1 anchor Jessica Abo. Abo managed to keep the crowd entertained in between guests and crowned Gilbert with the new position of goalie. A true gentleman, Gilbert took it in stride, and Abo showed a sense of humor by being able to laugh it off after some gentle ribbing by former New York Giant Howard Cross (who was playing the role of auctioneer). Cross did an excellent job of getting the patrons to open their wallets in support of the night's cause. His constant reminders of, "look at me, not her!" had a lot of the men upping the ante on their bids despite the urgings of their wives. Former Brooklyn Dodger and Sports Angels Board Member Ralph Branca briefly addressed the crowd and led the singing of God Bless America.

A touching moment during the evening was when the crowd was addressed by members of the Inner City Scholarship Foundation. The three basketball players were in a middle school league that was a recipient of a Sports Angels grant. They expressed their gratitude for the opportunity the grant had provided them to compete and learn about the aspects of teamwork and sportsmanship.

The event proved successful for the Sports Angels Foundation, showing that even in a tough economy, there are still many out there interested in supporting initiatives to keep children involved in sports. For further information on how you can support Sports Angels, please go to their website

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Cubs Suspend Milton Bradley, Is It The End of the Line? reports that the Chicago Cubs have suspended outfielder Milton Bradley for the remainder of the 2009 season after negative comments he made to the Arlington Heights Daily Herald. He referred to the environment on the Cubs as,"just negativity."

Bradley has worn out his welcome almost every place he has played, yet teams continued to take flyers on him due to his excellent hitting ability and the thought that the change in environment would help him. Bradley injured himself in 2007 after being restrained by Bud Black from going after an umpire late in the season while playing with the Padres. The Padres let him go and he was signed by Texas the following season. After an All-Star performance in 2008 with the Rangers, they did not resign him as a free agent and he landed with the Cubs for the 2009 season.

Bradley is on his 7th team in 10 Major League seasons. It's no longer a condition of environment. Bradley has brought this upon himself. How many more chances will he be given? He will be 32 in 2010, and is at the age where teams will no longer be interested in him for his potential upside. His track record has shown that he is a malcontent. How many Managers and General Managers want to have a problem player on their hands during the downside of his career? Bradley needs to take a deep look in the mirror and see that the problem lies no farther than his reflection. If he doesn't commit himself towards making positive changes, it is likely that teams will stop making a commitment to him for his services. That time may arrive alot sooner than Bradley will like.

3rd Annual Sports Angels Inspiration Awards Dinner Sept. 23, 2009 at Cipriani's Wall Street Honoring Rod Gilbert

Sports Angels, a New York-based charity dedicated to making a difference in people’s lives through sports, is proud to announce its 3rd Annual Inspiration Awards Dinner.

A galaxy of New York sports heroes will be mingling with some of the city's biggest and most charitable sports fans, September 23rd, 2009 at Cipriani Wall Street. Cocktails will be served at 6pm; the dinner starts at 7.

For the third consecutive year, the Sports Angels Board of Directors and 2009 Dinner Committee invite you to enjoy cocktails, auction, and an exquisite dinner as we celebrate legendary New York Ranger Rod Gilbert for his work on and off the ice. Past years' attendees include Ralph Branca, David Cone, Bud Harrelson, Ed Kranepool, Rick Cerone, Greg Buttle, Howard Cross, George Martin, and many more.

This year's benefit includes a silent and live auction featuring items such as a “Meet and Greet" with Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps, Luxury Box Seats to a Bruce Springsteen Concert and hand-signed electric guitar by the legend himself, Body Holiday St Lucia Experience Package, as well as many more fabulous items.

Tickets for the event are $350/$1,000 individual, and table prices begin at $3,500 - $10,000. If you would like to attend or need further information, please call 212-243-3265 or visit Sports Angels' website at Tickets can be purchased via the website or by emailing Alyson Winston at

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Lonny Frey, 99, Former Brooklyn Dodger 1910-2009

It is with a sad tone that I bring you the news of another Brooklyn Dodger passing. Former infielder Lonny Frey died Sunday at the age of 99 according to the Seattle Times. There are conflicts about his age, as the obituary lists 98, but lists his birth year as being 1910, which would make him 99. I had received written correspondence from Frey approximately a month ago and he seemed in good spirits. It is never a good feeling to hear the news of someone passing after receiving such recent communication.

Frey played 14 seasons in the Majors from 1933-1948 with Brooklyn, Cincinnati, The New York Giants and Yankees. He lost two seasons due to his service in World War II between 1943 and 1945. He was a three-time All-Star and played in three world series, two with the Reds and one with the Yankees. Frey gained recognition later in his life as he began to outlive the majority of his contemporaries. The New York times published an interesting 2008 article with Bob Feller and Frey, as they were the last two players alive from the 1939 All-Star game at Yankee Stadium.

Some of Frey's baseball memorabilia was profiled on an episode of Antiques Roadshow, where his son had his World Series and All-Star mementos appraised.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Jackie Collum, 82, 1927-2009 Former Brooklyn Dodger Pitcher

The little lefty from Iowa Jackie Collum died at the age of 82 on August 29, 2009 in Grinnell. Collum, although only 5'7, used a devastating screwball to pitch in parts of 9 seasons in the Major Leagues from 1952-1962 with the Cardinals, Reds, Cubs, Dodgers, Twins and Indians. Prior to playing professionally, he served in the US Army during World War II in the Philippines. Upon his return from military service, he was signed into the St. Louis Cardinals organization, where he posted 24 wins in Class C St. Joseph in 1948. He cited being selected to the 1954 National League All-Star as a batting practice pitcher, as being one of his favorite accomplishments of his Major League career. After baseball, Collum ran Pioneer Oil Company in Grinnell, IA.

Here is a January 2009 article written about Collum by William L. Sherman of the Iowa chapter of SABR, entitled "Jackie Collum, A Living Legend".

Friday, September 4, 2009

Former New York Mets Pitcher Jerry Koosman Gets 6 Months For Tax Evasion

The Associated Press reports that former New York Mets pitcher Jerry Koosman has been sentenced to 6 months in prison for tax evasion after not federal income taxes between 2002 and 2004. Koosman pitched 19 seasons in Major League Baseball, including winning two games for the Mets during the 1969 World Series. Koosman has filed returns for the missing years, but according to prosecutors, he owes approximately $65,000. He will begin serving his sentence on November 3rd.