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Dodgers take their swings for a good cause

Past and present on hand for 12th annual Charity Golf Invitational at Trump National

RANCHO PALOS VERDES, Calif. -- Monday might've been an off-day for the Dodgers, but catcher Drew Butera still spent the day swinging.

Surrounded by such former Dodgers as Steve Yeager and Fernando Valenzuela, Butera strolled onto the picturesque Trump National Golf Course as the only current Dodger in the 12th annual Charity Golf Invitational, presented by the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation.

But that added no weight to his shoulders.

"No, there's no pressure at all," Butera said. "I'm just trying to keep it out of the ocean."

Hugged by the Pacific, the course was home Monday to 160 golfers, who played in 32 foursomes with Dodgers of the past and celebrity guests such as Cedric the Entertainer and Rob Riggle.

There was an 11 a.m. shotgun start, followed by an auction and awards dinner at 5 p.m., which was emceed by former pitcher and current broadcaster Orel Hershiser and featured an appearance from former manager Tommy Lasorda.

"I think it's great," said Yeager, a former catcher. "I like to see as many representatives as I can out here. I think it's a great cause. It's a great day of golf, a beautiful country club. And it's a magnificent day to get out with some of the fans and some of the sponsors and have a good time."

Proceeds from the event went toward the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation, which looks to support the Los Angeles community through three main pillars: sports and recreation, education and literacy, and health and wellness.

"The Dodgers Foundation Charity Golf Invitational raises about $200,000 to support programs and to support our charitable giving," said Nichol Whiteman, executive director of the foundation. "It's very beneficial. I think in addition to really raising funds and money for the foundation, we're also gaining a lot of new friends."

The event reunited many old friends, as well.

"It's always nice to see guys like Maury Willis, Tommy Davis, Derrel Thomas, K.T. Landreaux and a few other guys -- Fernando's over there," said Yeager, from his golf cart, pointing to his old battery mate. "Any time you can see some of your old teammates and guys that played for this organization over the years, it's a mutual respect that we have for one another, it's an alumni, it's one big happy family."

Of course, with a large stable of former athletes comes a competitive spirit, too.

After Valenzuela registered, he admitted he'd be playing to win.

"I like to first enjoy the game and have fun, but also I want to do OK," he said, laughing. "I want to do good. That's the way I am. Just try to do the best all the time."

Added Yeager:

"If I hit a couple of them good, I'll come back tomorrow."

Michael Lananna is an associate reporter for
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