05/05/06 12:40 PM ET
Hall holds fundraiser for education
Fingers, Jenkins among 33 Hall of Famers to attend event
By T.R. Sullivan / MLB.com
"I just hope they remember me," Fingers joked while getting ready to play a round of golf at the course that hosts the Byron Nelson Championship. "There are not too many relief pitchers in the Hall of Fame. Hopefully there will be more. Bruce Sutter is coming in this year and hopefully [Rich] Gossage soon."
The Hall of Fame does much to ensure that people don't forget the greatest players in baseball history, whether it's Babe Ruth, Willie Mays, the Negro Leaguers, the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League (AAGPL) or a relief pitcher who has 341 career saves and three World Series rings, won while playing with the Oakland Athletics from 1972-74.
Fingers was one of 11 Hall of Famers who were at the Four Seasons on Friday to raise money for educational programming at the Cooperstown, N.Y. shrine. The Hall of Fame reaches more than 15 million students every year across the nation, teaching math, science and geography through baseball.
"One of the great things about the Hall of Fame is we have a great family," Hall of Fame president Dale Petroskey said. "These guys not only belong in the Hall of Fame, but they enjoy supporting what we do."
Joining Fingers for Friday's event were Wade Boggs, Steve Carlton, Ferguson Jenkins, Al Kaline, Harmon Killebrew, Bill Mazeroski, Phil Niekro, Robin Roberts, Don Sutton and Earl Weaver.
"The nice thing is to let kids know that from all walks of life, the number of people that make the Hall of Fame is a low percentage but if you work hard and dream, your dream can come true," Jenkins said. "Don Sutton said it best when he was at the podium this morning at breakfast. Growing up in the Florida-Alabama area, his dream was to be in the Hall of Fame and he never lost sight of that dream.
"After 24 years, he got his call. From my standpoint, being Canadian, everybody asked 'Why don't you play hockey?' Well, I did play hockey but baseball was my best sport and and I got to play it for 20 years."
Jenkins also won 284 games, was an All-Star and Cy Young Award winner and was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1991.
The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum recently completed a $20 million renovation and just opened its new Negro League exhibit, "Pride and Passion."
A statue of Hall of Famer Satchel Paige has been erected in the Hall of Fame courtyard and another one will be unveiled on Mother's Day weekend. This is one is of Mickey McGuire, one of the stars of the AAPGL. Donated by Houston businessman Don Sanders, the statue will be part of the Hall of Fame's Diamond Dreams exhibit, dedicated to women in baseball.
Roberts, Niekro and Nolan Ryan are planning to be there Mother's Day weekend for the celebration. The annual Hall of Fame Game between the Pittsburgh Pirates and Cincinnati Reds will be held on May 15.
"I'm fortunate to be in the Hall of Fame," Roberts said. "It adds a lot to an old guy's life. I've met so many baseball fans, you don't realize the amount of people whose lives you have affected. It's amazing the number of people who have followed me and my career."
There were 33 supportive golfers at the Four Seasons on Friday who feel that way.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.