Showing posts with label 2010 Gil Hodges Legacy Dinner. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 2010 Gil Hodges Legacy Dinner. Show all posts

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Dwight Gooden Honored By The Winning Beyond Winning Foundation

The 2010 Winning Beyond Winning Gil Hodges Legacy Awards Dinner saw New York World Series heroes Dwight "Doc" Gooden and Ralph Terry inducted into the Winning Beyond Winning Winner's Circle for their stellar performances as both Mets and Yankees.

Gooden was introduced by fellow "Black Ace" Jim "Mudcat" Grant to a rousing standing ovation from a crowd of over 300 supporters. It was evident Thursday evening that despite his off-field problems, Gooden is one of the most revered sports figures in recent New York history. Gooden was besieged with autograph and photo requests the entire evening and made sure that he fulfilled every single one until he left the building. 

The crowd hung on every word of his humble acceptance speech that told the story of how he wavered on making the start for the game where he pitched a no-hitter in 1996 against the Seattle Mariners. His father was scheduled for open heart surgery and Gooden was urged by his family and manager to leave the team to be with his ailing father. He elected to pitch after he woke up and heard his father's voice telling him to pitch in the game. After the game, Gooden boarded a flight to Tampa to deliver his father the game ball and a tape of his no-hitter.

"It was the last game he ever saw me pitch," Gooden said.

Also inducted was the 1962 World Series MVP, Ralph Terry. Terry regaled the crowd with his stories of playing with the Yankee legends, including Yogi Berra, Whitey Ford, Elston Howard, Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle. Terry won two games during the 1962 World Series, including a complete game shutout of the San Francisco Giants in Game 7.

Ron Swoboda was honored with the Gil Hodges Lifetime Achievement Award by Gil Hodges Jr. and Joan Hodges. Swoboda, who is now a commentator for the New Orleans Zephyrs, has been very active assisting the victims of Hurricane Katrina in Louisiana. Remembered for his outstanding catch of Brooks Robinson's line drive in the 1969 World Series, Swoboda had fond memories of playing for Hodges.

"Gil Hodges was one of the best people in baseball," Swoboda said. "He took care of all of us and I am proud to be associated with him. I wish when I was younger that I could have taken better advantage of the help he tried to give to me."

Receiving additional awards were Hope House Ministries, Rob Sabellico. and Jeff and Nancy Cohen; all for their dedication to service and philanthropy in the community.

Throughout the entire program, it was evident of the stellar community work that Winning Beyond Winning provides. Each award recipient boasted about the impact of Winning Beyond Winning in the local area, from their with alcohol dependency programs to providing opportunities for impoverished local youths to participate in area sports leagues.