Some of the rich and famous from the world of baseball gathered over the weekend to help those baseball lifers who aren’t quite so blessed.
The Professional Baseball Scouts Foundation’s 5th Annual "In the Spirit of the Game" Dinner brought some big names from baseball together with celebrities, athletes, sports broadcasters and entertainment executives to raise funds for needy baseball scouts.
Along with the dinner was an event organizers labeled the "world’s largest sports memorabilia auction". Among the top sellers was a Babe Ruth framed display piece which included an autographed bat and cancelled check. It sold for $55,000.
Asked who made the bid, event organizer Dennis Gilbert told the L.A. Times: “I don’t know, but he’s coming to my house tomorrow.”
Autographed jerseys from Peyton and Eli Manning went unsold at $1,000 each.
A number of scouts were honored including Eddie Bockman, who had signed eight of the players on the roster of the 1980 World Series champion Phillies; the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Ralph Avila, and 101-year-old Joe Lewis.
Gilbert, a former player agent and current Chicago White Sox executive who established the foundation, said it has distributed about $300,000 in grants, which have been used to cover costs such as funerals, emergency medical expenses, insurance and rent payments for unemployed scouts. Without such assistance, Gilbert said, a life crisis can send a scout spiraling toward poverty.
"We heard of a guy who sold his World Series rings to make mortgage payments," Gilbert told the newspaper.