Current Astros, HOFers & celebs attend Jackson's tourney

2022 World Series MVP Peña, Derek Jeter and 50 Cent among tournament participants

January 30th, 2023

PALM CITY, Fla. -- Hall of Fame third baseman admitted he didn’t like Reggie Jackson very much when they played against each other. Perhaps that had something to do with Brett’s Kansas City Royals meeting Jackson’s New York Yankees in consecutive American League Championship Series in the late 1970s.

Born from that rivalry was mutual respect and eventually a friendship that began when Brett was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1999 and entered a tight-knit fraternity that included Jackson. So when Brett was invited to participate in the star-studded Mr. October Foundation Celebrity Golf Classic on Monday at the Floridian National Golf Club, he didn’t hesitate.

“There’s not many people I would get up at 4 in the morning in Phoenix, Ariz., and fly to Dallas, and then fly here and play golf [for], but I would definitely do it for Reggie,” Brett said.

Brett wasn’t alone. He joined fellow Hall of Famers , , , and , plus a slew of other celebrities from the sports and entertainment world to play golf and raise money for Jackson’s “Mr. October STEM 101 program,” which provides 21st-century STEM career-minded curriculum, physical and electronic resources, as well as professional development, to prepare students for STEM jobs in the trades, engineering, manufacturing, and medical fields.

“It’s overwhelming for me, really,” said Jackson, an advisor to the Astros and owner Jim Crane, who owns the Floridian. “It brings so much joy and smiles to my heart, yet tears at the same time. Tears of joy just being overwhelmed and recognizing that and to be grateful for the people that have showed up here to be able to give support to our youth.”

Jackson wasn’t the only Yankees playoff legend participating in the event. Jeter, who captained the Bronx Bombers to four World Series championships in five seasons from 1996-2000, said Jackson has been trying to get him to come to the tournament for years, but he hasn’t had much confidence in his golf game recently. That didn’t stop him from nailing a drive down the middle of the fairway on the 10th tee.

“I’ve embarrassed myself many times, but never intentional,” Jeter joked. “When I come out here, I’m pretty much intentionally embarrassing myself. I’m happy to come out there to support Reggie. There’s been a lot of athletes, entertainers, celebrities who have come out here to support his cause, which is important. The athletic community seems to rally around each other, and Reggie deserves a lot of credit.”

In addition to baseball Hall of Famers, entertainers Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson and Travis Scott, NFL Hall of Famers Marcus Allen, Jerome Bettis, Richard Dent, Marshall Faulk, Warren Moon, Joe Namath and Terrell Owens participated, along with current Astros players Kyle Tucker, Lance McCullers Jr., Michael Brantley and Jeremy Peña -- the 2022 World Series MVP.

“I thought it was going to be special when I go there and I see Joe Namath and all the other big dogs,” 50 Cent said. “This is really exciting for me personally.”

Last year, Jackson’s tournament raised more than $600,000 for STEM programming in schools located in Oakland, St. Louis, Detroit, and the Bronx. The hope for this year’s tournament was to raise more than $1 million to benefit programs in Houston, Pittsburgh and West Palm Beach, Fla.

“First of all, it’s important that we all use our platform for being athletes, entertainers, what have you, to help those people in need,” Schmidt said. “Reggie is a fine example of a guy that uses his and for a long time, he’s been doing that. He’s a good friend. Any time I can help him, I’m glad to do that. He does the same for me.

“And he really puts on an event like this first class. A lot of very fortunate people are involved because of his connections in California and New York. He’s just a fine guy. He looks out for all his friends that are here. Every year around this time, I look forward to coming to this tournament.”