Players hit the links for annual charity event

A's Community Fund unites players past and present for local causes

Players hit the links for annual charity event

DANVILLE, Calif. -- A little off-day at the links never hurt anyone.

On Monday, a group of current and former A's players joined members of the front office, team broadcasters, season-ticket holders and fans at the 35th Annual Oakland A's Community Fund Golf Classic.

"The A's Community Fund is an important part of who we are as an organization," team president Dave Kaval said. "Obviously, the money we make today, everybody's contribution funds so many of the great programs we have in Oakland. That actually means a lot as we embark in this new chapter of our history with our new ballpark in this city."

To kick off the day's action at the practice putting green, a group of golfers tried to make a long-range putt for $5,000. A's shortstop Adam Rosales even gave it a shot, but his ball rolled just past the hole by a few inches.

"I tried my hardest," Rosales said with a smile. "I've been practicing for days for that putt. Just kidding. I just rolled out of bed. But you've got to be lucky to make that."

Adam Rosales attempts a putt for $5,000. (Alex Espinoza)

After a shotgun start and a round of golf on a hot day in East Bay, the team held a silent auction and banquet to raise money for the A's Community Fund. Since its inception, the fund has raised more than $20 million for local causes ranging from education to health initiatives to assistance for the underprivileged.

"It's fantastic to connect with the community any way we can," Rosales said. "To be out on an off-day and see people outside of the ballpark, all the people that support us is really important."

Joining Rosales at the Blackhawk Country Club on Monday were fellow A's Daniel Coulombe, Rajai Davis, Ryon Healy, Jed Lowrie, Ryan Madson, Chad Pinder, Jake Smolinski and Stephen Vogt. A host of former players like Shooty Babitt, Dallas Braden, Vida Blue and Bert "Campy" Campaneris also joined the fun.

"This is outstanding," Babitt said. "This is what I've been doing since I've been a part of this organization in 1977. So, for me it's natural. It's good for me to see that the culture is continuing."

Alex Espinoza is a contributor to MLB.com based in the Bay Area. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.