Home town professional baseball hero Ted Lilly will welcome a sold out field of 144 golfers to Saturday's golf tournament that carries his name at Sierra Meadows Country Club. The tournament and live auction benefits youth baseball in the Mountain Area.
The scramble shot gun start for the tournament, sponsored by the Yosemite Baseball Boosters, will be at 11:30 a.m. The dinner-auction will start at 5:30 p.m.
It was earlier announced that Lilly's Dodger teammate Clayton Kershaw, the 2011 National League Cy Young award winner (21-5 with 248 Ks), would participate in the tournament along with Lilly. Kershaw recently was notified that he is this year's winner of the prestigious Roberto Clemente Award, given to the MLB Player who best exemplifies the game of baseball, sportsmanship, community involvement and the individual's contribution to his team. The award will be presented to him during the World Series, which will not allow him to make the Oakhurst event.
Lilly won the award in 2009 when he was with the Cubs.
Auction items will include signed jerseys from Lilly (Dodgers), Don Mattingly (Dodgers), Nolan Ryan (Rangers) and Albert Pujols (Angels) and signed baseballs from the 2001 Yankees world series team and the 2009 National League All Star team, along other sports memorabilia and vacation packages.
The tournament raised about $48,000 last year with $35,000 coming from the live auction.
Dinner/auction tickets cost $25.
The non-profit Yosemite Baseball Boosters organization was formed in 2007. The goal of the boosters is to assist in raising supplemental funding to improve the Yosemite High School baseball facilities, purchase equipment and uniforms, offer a community award to graduating baseball players and facilitate a summer travel ball program designed to maximize competitive potential.
Over the years, the Yosemite Badger baseball program has had many players enjoy success at the college and professional level. Since the inception of the Yosemite Baseball Boosters, approximately nine varsity players have gone on to play collegiate baseball. The Alumni Baseball Game featuring Lilly, is a major fundraiser for the organization.
The tournament will also benefit Yosemite Little League in Oakhurst and Sierra Mountain Little League in Oakhurst.
Yosemite Little League was chartered in 1993 when, due to increased membership, it became necessary to split from Sierra Mountain Little League.
In 1995, with the help and support of Yosemite Lakes Owner's Association, Yosemite Lakes Recreation Center and dozens of volunteers, the current home field was built.
Sierra Mountain Little League was established in 1972 and has been serving the Mountain Area for almost 40 years. In those years more than 8,000 boys and girls have played in the program.
Lilly began his successful professional career in the summer of 1996 for the Dodgers minor league team Yakima, WA. He quickly climbed through the Dodgers minor league system prior to being traded to the Montreal Expos in 1998. Lilly made his Major League Debut for the Expos on May 14, 1999 and was traded to the New York Yankees the following season.
He was traded to the Oakland Athletics in July of 2002 and was with the Athletics for the remainder of the 2002 season and got 12 wins for Oakland during the 2003 season.
Lilly was then traded to the Toronto Blue Jays prior to the 2004 season and pitched three years for Toronto, winning 12 (2004), 10 (2005) and 15 (2006) games for the Blue Jays. He was named an MLB All-Star for the first time in his career during the 2004 season.
As a free agent, he then signed with the Chicago Cubs for the 2006 season where he won 15 games in 2007 and had a career high 17 wins during the 2008 season. He won another 12 games for the Cubs in 2009 and was named an MLB All-Star for the second time.
In the midst of another solid season in 2010, his career came "full circle" as he was traded by the Cubs to the Los Angeles Dodgers, the organization that had originally drafted him in 1996. He completed another double digit win season in 2010 in his time between Chicago and LA. The Dodgers were eager to re-sign him following the 2010 season and the parties completed a three-year contract running through the 2013 season.
Lilly completed the season with 12 wins for the Dodgers, making him one of only three active left-handed starting pitchers to have won 10 or more games each of the past eight years.
Lilly just completed his 14th major league season which he started with a 5-1 record before being forced to sit out about half the season with a minor shoulder injury. His career win/loss record is 130-111.
Lilly has been active in numerous charitable contributions over the years. While in Chicago, he worked closely with Cubs Care supporting youth sports, children with special needs and victims of domestic violence.
He has also been active in raising awareness and attending fundraising events for P.A.W.S., the largest animal no-kill humane organization in the country. He has also funded a charitable ticket program for disadvantaged youth. Throughout the season, he purchases approximately 500 tickets and provides "fan bucks" to each of his guests so that they can enjoy lunch at the ballpark. Lilly invites the young people out to a game and meets with them during batting practice, a tradition that he has continued in his time with the Dodgers.
Lilly's charitable contributions were recognized in 2009 when he was named the Roberto Clemente Award Winner. He elected to donate his $7,500 grant from Chevy to P.A.W.S Chicago.
Details: Becky Carlson, (559) 658-1549, Stacy Daly, (559) 760-0265.