Nine members of the National Baseball Hall of Fame, including Reggie Jackson, Juan Marichal and Joe Morgan, will be among the more than 100 current and former Major Leaguers scheduled to attend the 2013 "Going to Bat for B.A.T. Fundraising Dinner," which will honor the legendary Hall of Famer Yogi Berra. Additional Hall of Famers scheduled to attend include Luis Aparicio, Orlando Cepeda, Rollie Fingers, Pat Gillick and Jim Palmer. The annual fundraising dinner, which benefits the Baseball Assistance Team (B.A.T.), will be held on Tuesday, January 22, 2013 at the New York Marriott Marquis Hotel in Times Square.
B.A.T. also will recognize New York Mets starting pitcher Johan Santana and New York Yankees pitcher Joba Chamberlain. Santana will receive the Big B.A.T./Frank Slocum Award for his financial support and generosity to the B.A.T. organization. Chamberlain will receive the Bart Giamatti Award, which is presented annually to an individual in baseball who best exemplifies the compassion demonstrated by the late Commissioner. Octavio "Cookie" Rojas will be presented with the Joe Garagiola, Sr. Lifetime Achievement Award for his service to the organization. Chamberlain will also accept the annual American League Bobby Murcer Award on behalf of the New York Yankees. Five-time MLB All-Star and Arizona Diamondbacks Special Assistant to the President & CEO Luis Gonzalez will accept the National League Bobby Murcer Award on behalf of the D-backs players.
A number of Berra's former teammates, as well as several players who played for him during his managing and coaching career will attend the 24th annual event, including Yogi's sons Dale Berra ( the first player in baseball history to ever play for his father) and Larry Berra, Jim Bouton, Dr. Bobby Brown, Steve Garvey, Bud Harrelson, Tommy John, Cleon Jones, Ed Kranepool, Phil Linz, Rusty Staub, Ron Swoboda and Bob Watson. The list of attendees also includes Baltimore Orioles All-Star center fielder Adam Jones, Boston Red Sox reliever Craig Breslow, four-time All-Star John Franco, five-time All-Star and 1979 National League Most Valuable Player Keith Hernandez, five-time All-Star Jack Morris, and many others.
Johan Santana will receive the Big B.A.T./Frank Slocum Award, named after B.A.T.'s first director. The award is given to a player who has been financially generous to the organization and best exemplifies Slocum's community-focused values. Santana has two charity-based foundations, one based in Venezuela and one in the United States. Three days prior to becoming the first pitcher in Mets history to throw a no-hitter, Santana and his Johan Santana Foundation joined forces with the Mets Foundation to provide seed money to launch a new Tuesday's Children initiative for Spanish-speaking members of the 9/11 community. Tuesday's Children is a non-profit family service organization that has made a long-term commitment to every individual impacted by the events of September 11, 2001. Santana and his Foundation allowed Tuesday's Children to increase its outreach and enhance services and programs for the underserved Spanish-speaking community. The lefthander serves as the project's spokesperson help reaching those in need. For the last seven years he has hosted a holiday party in his hometown of Tovar, Venezuela. During this weekend-long event, Santana helps umpire a baseball tournament, oversees a health and wellness outreach program for children and adults, and hands out over 10,000 gifts to children. Santana has a long-standing commitment to raising awareness about skin cancer, specifically Melanoma after the wife of one of his agents was lost to the disease. He was one of the first area athletes to rally support for victims of Hurricane Sandy, delivering supplies and bottled water to Brooklyn residents, especially those near MCU Park, the home of the Mets' Single-A affiliate Brooklyn Cyclones.
Joba Chamberlain will receive the Bart Giamatti Award, which is presented annually to an individual associated with baseball who best exemplifies the compassion demonstrated by the late Commissioner. Since arriving in New York, he has been involved with the Police Athletic League, New Yorkers for Children, Camp Acorn, and the Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. In 2010, Chamberlain was awarded the Thurman Munson Award for his philanthropic efforts. In 2011, Chamberlain and his sister, Tasha, created the Dream 62 Foundation to help children in need and the disabled in both Nebraska and New York, and he spends countless hours fundraising and attending events in the off-season to promote awareness. He recently raised $25,000 for the foundation by answering sales calls at ICAP's annual charity day. The foundation hosted its first annual cocktail mixer on December 13th to raise money to help build a baseball facility in Lincoln.
For the fourth consecutive year, the New York Yankees will be the American League Club recognized as the recipients of the annual Bobby Murcer Award. The Arizona Diamondbacks will receive the award for the first time, on behalf of the National League. In 2009, B.A.T. established the award in honor of the late B.A.T. Chairman, MLB All-Star and Yankees legend. The award is presented to the team in both the American League and National League whose players commit the most amount of money to B.A.T. during the Spring Training Fundraising Tour. The Yankees have won the award for the American League each year since it was created. Bobby's widow Kay Murcer, and his son Todd Murcer will be on-hand to present the awards at this year's dinner.
ABOUT THE BASEBALL ASSISTANCE TEAM
B.A.T. was founded in 1986 by former Commissioner Peter Ueberroth, a group of former players and Major League Baseball. The organization is dedicated to assisting members of the Baseball Family through financial grants, healthcare programs and rehabilitative counseling. More than $28 million in grants have been awarded, to date, benefiting more than 3,000 members of the Baseball Family who are in need of assistance with nowhere else to turn. All aid provided by B.A.T. is strictly confidential allowing those in the need to receive help discreetly.
In addition to assisting former Major League players, B.A.T. also offers support to former Major League managers, coaches, scouts, umpires, athletic trainers, front office personnel, Minor League Baseball players and personnel, Negro Leagues players, players from the Women's Professional Baseball League, and spouses and children under the age of 24 years old.
Entering its 28th year, B.A.T. is a 501-(c) 3 charity and a unique organization within the sports industry. Through charitable contributions from corporations, foundations and individuals, B.A.T. strives to provide a means of support to people with financial, medical or psychological burdens.
For more information about B.A.T., to purchase tickets for the Dinner or to make a donation, please call 212-931-7821 or visit: BaseballAssistanceTeam.com.