Old friends, different ball
By Craig Muder
They were teammates on the baseball diamond, working toward a common goal and sharing good times in the clubhouse.
Today, they are friends in retirement – enjoying a history that only they share.
It all comes together in Cooperstown.
The annual Hall of Fame Invitational golf outing was played at Leatherstocking Golf Course in Cooperstown on Saturday morning, with more than 20 Hall of Famers and dozens more distinguished guests launching drives and dropping putts on the picturesque course next to Otsego Lake. Andre Dawson and Whitey Herzog, who are set to be inducted into the Hall of Fame on Sunday with Doug Harvey as the Class of 2010, got their first taste of Hall of Fame Weekend golf and loved every minute of it.
Dawson invited former Montreal Expos teammate Tim Raines to play with him, and Raines wowed his fellow golfers with some prodigious tee shots. But for Raines, the real excitement was just being in Cooperstown with his friend.
“He was a quiet leader, who led by example and I was one of the guys who jumped on his shirttails,” Raines said. “You think about how to play the game right, and you think about Andre Dawson.
“I am so happy his day has come.”
Herzog played the round with family members, while other power foursomes included a group with Frank Robinson, George Brett and Brett’s former teammate John Wathan and another with Gary Carter, Paul Molitor and former umpire Bruce Froemming.
“Whitey was a pain in the butt,” Carter joked when asked about Herzog. “We had some good battles. When you played Whitey’s teams, they were always tough.”
Their time on the diamond may be passed, but the camaraderie they created appears to be everlasting – especially at the home of baseball in Cooperstown.
Craig Muder is director of communications for the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.