ESPN’s Buster Olney Heading Up Charity Auction

On Aug. 28, 2011 Tropical Storm Irene dumped torrential rain onto the Green Mountains, and Vermonters became victims of historic flooding. Among those who suffered the most devastating losses were the state’s farmers. As part of the nation-wide effort to help, Sam Lincoln and Buster Olney, brothers who grew up on a Randolph Center dairy farm, are raising funds to aid farmers in need through what is being called Going to Bat for Vermont Farmers.  Olney and others associated with the project used their baseball contacts to round up items for a special online auction of autographed and game used memorabilia and a variety of sports-related experiences.

The fundraising effort also includes a November 12th Baseball Roundtable being held at Vermont Technical College, and direct donations. All proceeds raised through Going to Bat for Vermont Farmers will be donated to the Vermont Farm Disaster Relief Fund. The fund was established by the Vermont Agency of Agriculture and The Vermont Community Foundation in the aftermath of Irene and makes grants directly to farmers affected by the storm.

Some of the best minds in baseball will be at the November 12th Roundtable event. Theo Epstein, General Manager of the Boston Red Sox, will join Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman and Pirates General Manager Neal Huntington – as well as longtime baseball reporter Peter Gammons, a descendant of Ethan Allen – for a discussion that includes a question-and-answer session with the audience about their teams, their sport, and offseason plans.

There will be limited seating, in three different tiers: VIP Seating, which includes access to a cocktail hour with Epstein, Cashman, Huntington, Gammons and Olney; Premier Seating; and General Admission. Tickets go on sale Wednesday, October 12th online at

  • The online auction includes memorabilia donated by players, teams, and other celebrities:
  • Autographed jerseys and baseballs, including those of Albert Pujols, Stephen Strasburg, Jose Bautista, CC Sabathia, Greg Maddux, Jimmy Rollins, Josh Beckett, Andrew McCutchan, Carlton Fisk, Jim Thome, Cliff Lee, Joey Votto, Rollie Fingers and others.  Some game used items are also in the auction.
  • A round of golf with ESPN’s John Kruk.
  • A behind-the-scenes tour at the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y.
  • Tickets to a Toby Keith concert, with a backstage meet-and-greet.
  • A meet-and-greet with Tigers pitcher Rick Porcello, whose family owns a Vermont home.
  • Ticket packages for several teams.