Former Yosemite High School graduate Ted Lilly (class of 1994) had his Badger baseball jersey retired in a special ceremony at the Oct. 14 Ted Lilly Badger Golf Classic at Eagle Springs Golf Course in Friant.
“It’s an honor for me to give back to the community that helped mold me into the man I am today,” Lilly said. “I’m very proud that the school and community has recognized me by retiring my Yosemite High Badger baseball jersey. That is very humbling to me.”
“It was great that Ted graciously donated his time to participate in the tournament and show his continued support for Badger baseball,” said Badger Baseball Boosters President Robin Ward. “It was a beautiful day and everyone had a great time at Eagle Springs, while benefiting the Yosemite baseball program. We are already planning a bigger and better event for next year.”
The tournament made more than $15,000 for the Yosemite baseball program.
Also attending the event was YHS football coach JD Burnett, representing the Yosemite Football Boosters. Burnett accepted a check for $5,000 from Lilly and baseball boosters for the PJ Kuzmitski prosthetic fund.
“The football boosters and the Kuzmitski family are very appreciative of this donation,” Burnett said.
Eighty-four golfers played in the tournament and the first place foursome was Pat Jarvis, Oliver Walsilow, Lane Jenkins and Jeremy Monroe. Placing second was the team of Lilly, Mike Best, George Mullins, and Larry O’Brien.
In addition to Lilly’s contributions, Ward said the event would not have been possible with out the sponsors, the players, the Booster Club volunteers, and all the businesses and individuals who donated items for the live and silent auction.
15-year MLB career
Lilly was a standout pitcher for Yosemite High and Fresno City College and was drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1996. He had a successful 15-year career in Major League Baseball, announcing his retirement in 2013.
During his career he pitched for the Dodgers, New York Yankees, Toronto Blue Jays, Oakland Athletics and the Chicago Cubs.
During his MLB career, the left-hander had three complete game shutouts, 331 starts (nearly 2,000 innings pitched), 130 wins, struck out 1,681 batters, and had two postseason starts.
The two-time MLB All-Star had a career high wins in a season (17), and strikeouts in a season (184) while playing for the Cubs.
Lilly participated in the first of four previous tournaments at Sierra Meadows Golf Course in 2008.
Former Badger baseball coach John McMillen said he was always amazed at Lilly’s generosity.
“We were and are still very grateful for everything Ted has done for high school and youth baseball in the Mountain Area,” McMillen said. “I was pleased to see this tournament come back.”