Join Ozzie Smith and the Gateway PGA REACH Foundation in this annual event as we raise funds to carry out our vision of Improving Lives through the Community of Golf.
The Gala, held the evening of June 5th, features a delicious meal with incredible silent and oral auction items capping off the evening with a special fireside chat between Ozzie and his guests Eddie Murray and Cal Ripken Jr! Monday, June 6th welcomes the Pro Am golf tournament hosted at the Country Club of St. Albans.
CLICK HERE TO REGISTER FOR THE 2016 OZZIE SMITH PRO AM & GALA!
SPONSORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES ARE AVAILABLE STARTING AT $500– CALL THE GATEWAY PGA FOR MORE INFORMATION AT 636-532-3355.
CLICK HERE for more information about the Gateway PGA REACH Foundation.
“When I got to the big leagues, there was a man – Eddie Murray – who showed me how to play this game, day in and day out. I thank him for his example,” said Hall of Famer Cal Ripken, Jr.
No one has ever played more major league games at first base. Lou Gehrig played in 2,130, but the steady, consistent, durable and dominant Eddie Murray chalked up 2,413, with almost 600 more as DH. In his 21 big league seasons, Murray averaged 24 home runs and 91 runs-batted-in. He was the third player in history, after Hank Aaron and Willie Mays, to record 3,000 hits and 500 home runs.
The Orioles drafted Murray in 1973, and he made his major league debut in 1977, batting .283 with 27 home runs and 88 runs-batted-in, en route to the Rookie of the Year Award.
Moving to first base full time the following season, Murray grew as a hitter and a fielder, and in 1979, led the Orioles to the AL pennant, batting .295 with 25 home runs and 99 RBI.
The following season, in 1980, Murray posted the first of his six 100-RBI seasons.
In 1982, Murray won the first of three consecutive Gold Glove Awards, and he led the AL in putouts twice, assists twice, and fielding percentage twice. In 1983, he led Baltimore to another pennant, hitting .306 with 33 home runs and 111 runs-batted-in. He clubbed three home runs in the postseason, as the Orioles won the World Series over the Phillies.
Traded to the Dodgers prior to the 1989 season, Murray drove in 279 runs in his hometown over three seasons. He signed with the Mets in 1992, driving in 193 runs in two seasons before signing with Cleveland in 1994.
He led the Indians to their first World Series since 1954, clubbing a home run in each round of the postseason in 1995. He made his final postseason appearance with the Orioles in 1996, hitting .300 in the two playoff rounds. He finished his career at home in 1997, playing for both the Angels and the Dodgers.
Cal Ripken Jr.
Longtime manager Joe Torre said, “Cal is a bridge, maybe the last bridge, back to the way the game was played. Hitting home runs and all that other good stuff is not enough. It’s how you handle yourself in all the good times and bad times that matters. That’s what Cal showed us. Being a star is not enough. He showed us how to be more.”
Cal Ripken Jr. was a throwback. He played hard, he played to win, and he played in every game. On May 30, 1982, Ripken began “the streak”— the longest stretch of consecutive games played by anyone in baseball history (2,632), and in the process earned the moniker “Iron Man.” Fellow Hall of Fame shortstop Ozzie Smith explained “It is extreme-ly impressive that Cal was able to do something like this while playing shortstop. You have to have size and strength, which he obviously has, you have to have skill and you have to have some luck. I have always thought that shortstops were the best athletes on the field and this just reconfirms that.”
A 19-time All-Star and two-time American League Most Valuable Player, Cal Ripken redefined the shortstop position. Traditionally viewed as a position from which you wouldn’t expect a lot of offense, Ripken ushered in an era of superstar shortstops that could not only handle the rigors of the position defensively, but regularly hit 20-30 home runs and bat .300.
One of these shortstops, Alex Rodriguez, said of his boy-hood idol, “He was a pioneer in many ways. The most under-rated thing about him was his defense. The year he went out and made three errors and led the league in double plays, that was awesome. He’ll be remembered more for his home runs, RBI and games played, but his defense was something.”
It was ultimately Cal Ripken and “the streak” that brought fans back from the dark times of the 1994 baseball strike when on Sept. 6, 1995, baseball’s “Iron Man” passed Lou Gehrig’s mark of 2,130 consecutive games played. Curt Schilling said, “No one’s ever had that aura like he had.”