Dierker hosts golf tournament to raise money for at-risk kids

Dierker hosts golf tournament to raise money for at-risk kids

CYPRESS, Texas -- Larry Dierker made his Major League Baseball debut on his 18th birthday on Sept. 22, 1964 and struck out the Giants' Willie Mays in the first inning as a member of the Houston Colt .45s.

Dierker would go on to pitch 14 years in the majors until 1977, the first 13 years with the Colt .45s/Astros. He guided the Astros to the playoffs four of the five years he managed the club from 1997-2001, and he was a longtime broadcaster with the team.

His presence is still felt in the Houston area. On Monday, Dierker delivered again. Not on the baseball field but on the golf course, raising money for at-risk kids.

For the second year Dierker hosted a celebrity golf tournament at BlackHorse Golf Club with proceeds to benefit Cy-Hope. The mission at Cy-Hope is for every school in the Cypress Fairbanks Independent School District to earn exemplary status by making life better for children in the school district and the community.

"We have 114,000 kids in the school district," said Dierker. "It's the largest suburban school district in Texas, and third overall in Texas total, and it's growing. To serve that many kids is a challenge."

Foundry United Methodist Church partnered with the school district to create programs to help the kids who need help. Whether it be tutoring, mentoring, after-school programs.

"In most cases, in most people's lives, what you do is heavily influenced by other people and relationships," said Dierker. "Our pastor wanted to start this. I've been on a couple mission trips with him.

"As we're taught, a part of it is faith and a part of it is works. Our pastor likes to go to El Paso or Costa Rica or somewhere and carry bags of cement around and build structures for people that don't have one. He really believes in works.

"That's when he had this idea of get out in the school district and get beyond our little campus where we all know each other and get the people that need help here. Instead of having to go to a foreign country to do it, let's do it in our own neighborhood."

Basketball Hall of Famer Moses Malone, former NFL quarterback Dan Pastorini, former Astros catcher and current team broadcaster Alan Ashby and former pitcher Burt Hooton were among the celebrity golfers Dierker lined up.

"I came out here because Larry and I have been friends for many year," said Pastorini. "And when I need him for something, he's always there for me, and whenever he needs me I'm there for him.

"At our event next week, Larry is one of our honorees in our golden halo award for people who do outstanding work with their communities throughout the city of Houston and Harris County."

Pastorini will host a charity golf tournament this coming Monday at Sugar Creek Country Club in Sugar Land, Texas that benefits Be An Angel and the Bum Phillips Charities.

Former Astros hitting coach Deacon Jones came out to play on Monday to help the cause.

"Any time you're talking about kids, reading, writing, it's so important," said Jones.

The tournament included a silent auction. Among the items on auction were a J.J. Watt autographed jersey, as well as autographed jerseys by Earl Campbell, Roger Staubach, Emmitt Smith and Drew Brees. There also was a picture of Nolan Ryan and Pete Rose, autographed by both baseball players.

Last year's charity golf tournament raised more than $50,000 for Cy-Hope.

"We're all about making life better for kids in our community," said Lynda Zelenka, executive director of Cy-Hope. "There are 114,000 kids in Cy-Fair ISD and 50 percent of them are considered at-risk. We want to reach all of them."

For more information about Cy-Hope visit cyhope.org or call 713 466-4673.

Richard Dean is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.