Robinson and Co. to hit the links for UYA
Hall of Famer's annual golf tourney raises funds to bring baseball to underprivileged youth
Several sports legends and celebrities will tee off at the Wilshire Country Club on Monday in Beverly Hills, Calif., for the second annual Frank Robinson Celebrity Golf Invitational.
Proceeds from the golf outing will benefit the MLB Urban Youth Academy in Compton, Calif., a program created by Robinson to provide free baseball and softball instruction to underprivileged youth in the Greater Los Angeles area.
Those scheduled to attend are baseball Hall of Famers Robinson, Reggie Jackson and Joe Morgan; current Major Leaguers Albert Pujols and Chris Dickerson; former MLB players Don Buford, Eric Davis, Kenny Lofton, Gary Matthews Jr., Bo Porter, Bret Saberhagen and Dmitri Young; NBA Hall of Famers Bill Russell, Jerry West and James Worthy; NFL Hall of Famer Jim Brown; former boxing star Sugar Ray Leonard; actors Carlos Bernard, Benjamin Bratt and Anderson Davis; and Los Angeles TV personalities Rob Fukuzaki and Jim Hill.
Following a round of golf in the morning is a banquet featuring testimonials from MLB Urban Youth Academy participants and a live and silent auction.
Items up for auction include baseball memorabilia signed by Pujols, Clayton Kershaw, Mike Trout, Miguel Cabrera, Frank Thomas, Bryce Harper, Madison Bumgarner, Greg Maddux, Yasiel Puig and other current and former MLB stars.
Robinson, currently MLB's executive vice president of baseball development, played 21 seasons in the Majors from 1956-76 with the Reds, Orioles, Dodgers, Angels and Indians, earning 12 All-Star nods. He won the Triple Crown in '66, and he is the only player in Major League history to be named MVP in both the American League ('61) and the National League ('66).
While finishing his career in Cleveland, Robinson served as a player-manager, becoming the first African-American skipper in the big leagues. He went on to also manage the Giants, Orioles, Expos and Nationals, and he won the AL Manager of the Year Award in 1989.
Compton's MLB Urban Youth Academy opened in 2006 and has since served thousands of young athletes. More than 400 of the academy's graduates have gone on to play collegiately and more than 100 have been selected in the First-Year Player Draft, including current MLB players Aaron Hicks, Khris Davis, Anthony Gose, Efren Navarro and Jon Singleton.