Hall of Famers to gather for charity dinner
Cooperstown greats, former MVPs to go to bat for B.A.T.
Nineteen National Baseball Hall of Fame members and former Most Valuable Player Award winners have said they will attend the Baseball Assistance Team's (B.A.T.) 21st annual "Going to Bat for B.A.T. Dinner," Major League Baseball announced on Monday.
The dinner, held Jan. 26 at the New York Marriott Marquis Hotel, will celebrate former MVPs while honoring Phillies closer Brad Lidge, Red Sox knuckleballer Tim Wakefield, the reigning World Series champion Yankees and the Astros.
Hall of Famers scheduled to attend are: the newly elected Andre Dawson, Orlando Cepeda, Bob Gibson, Joe Morgan, Robin Yount -- all former MVPs -- Luis Aparicio, Bob Feller, Jim Palmer, Tony Perez, Robin Roberts, Billy Williams and Dick Williams. The event will also have former MVPs George Foster, Steve Garvey, Keith Hernandez, Willie Hernandez, Fred Lynn, Denny McLain and Al Rosen in attendance.
Lidge will be honored with the Big BAT/Frank Slocum Award for financial generosity to B.A.T. and Wakefield will receive the Bart Giamatti Award for service to the community. The Yankees will be given the Bobby Murcer Award for the American League, with manager Joe Girardi scheduled to accept on the club's behalf, and the Astros will receive the Murcer Award for the National League, with outfielder Hunter Pence accepting. The Murcer Award is given to the team in each league whose players contribute the most money to B.A.T. through the MLB Payroll Deduction Program.
B.A.T. is "dedicated to assisting members of the 'Baseball Family' through financial grants, health-care programs and rehabilitative counseling." The program has awarded more than $19 million in grants since it was founded in 1986 and has benefited more than 2,400 members of the "Baseball Family."
That Family includes former Major League players, coaches, scouts, umpires, trainers and front-office personnel; as well as players from the Minor Leagues, Negro Leagues and the Women's Professional Baseball League; plus spouses and individuals.
More information can be found at baseballassistanceteam.com.
Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.