Results tagged ‘ Down syndrome ’
By Samantha Carr
Despite playing his entire 16-year career in Boston with the Red Sox, Hall of Famer Jim Rice grew up in Anderson, S.C. – and is more accustomed to the quiet life in the South.
So this week’s trip to Cooperstown proved the perfect mini-vacation for the Class of 2009 Hall of Famer.
“It is a great time of the year to come to Cooperstown because it is laid back,” Rice said Tuesday before the 28th Annual Otesaga Hotel Seniors Open and Pro-Am Golf Tournament at Leatherstocking Golf Course in Cooperstown. “It’s not as fast-paced as Induction Weekend. You can come here and play a round of golf.”
Rice is serving as the celebrity host for the Pro-Am, while top pros from around the country will compete in the Seniors Open, which runs Wednesday through Friday, Sept. 8-10. The Seniors Open continues to be known as one of the country’s premier non-PGA tournaments.
“I played here two or three times when I was with the Red Sox,” said Rice, who also played the course during Hall of Fame Weekend 2009, when he received his bronze plaque.
Proceeds from the traditional post-Labor Day event benefit Pathfinder Village, located in nearby Edmeston, a residential community dedicated to children and adults with Down syndrome.
“I went to visit Pathfinder Village yesterday,” said Rice. “We were talking about Down syndrome, but there is no ‘down’ syndrome. There is no worry. All they want is love. They are baseball fans and NASCAR fans. They just want to blend in.”
Pathfinder Village opened in 1980 with seven homes and a school. Since then, the Village has added more homes and programs, all with the goal of providing fulfillment for those who have Down syndrome.
“It is more of an adult situation,” said Rice. “The residents cook and clean and have responsibilities and really learn to be apart of society in their own environment. What they are doing over there is outstanding. I think if you go over there you will really appreciate what this tournament is all about.”
Samantha Carr is the manager of web and digital media for the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.
By Craig Muder
His hands settled around the shaft of the golf club, then drew back for his practice swing.
The power of that swing — the legendary power of Michael Jack Schmidt — was still apparent, even if the familiar baseball bat had been replaced by the metal wood.
Those hands — an unforgettable instinct.
Schmidt, who will turn 60 in less than three weeks, is still fit and trim. The once-red hair is now gray, but the body looks to be not far removed from his playing days with the Phillies. At the very least, it would be easy to picture Schmidt on the Champions Tour.
The Hall of Fame third baseman was in Cooperstown this weekend, and on Tuesday he teed off at the Pro-Am for the Otesaga Hotel Seniors Open. Schmidt served as the celebrity host of the tournament, which benefits Pathfinder Village, located in nearby Edmeston, N.Y., a residential community dedicated to children and adults with Down syndrome. The tournament also benefits the Baseball Hall of Fame.
“No charity I’ve ever been associated with is more deserving of a tournament like this,” said Schmidt of Pathfinder Village. “I’ve played in this tournament a couple times now, and it’s always great to come back.”
Schmidt spent 18 seasons with the Philadelphia Phillies from 1972-89, winning eight National League home run titles and three NL MVP awards.
But his greatest thrill as a pro athlete just might have come on the famous Leatherstocking Golf Course in Cooperstown.
“I’m not playing in the Seniors Open this year, but I did a couple years ago and actually finished third in my flight. I got a check for $700. When you’re up against competition like this — great senior pros from around the country — that’s pretty good.”
Craig Muder is director of communications for the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.