The Association held its 89th annual Dinner and Get-Together on February 1, 2014 with 230 members and guests at The Grand Event Center in Long Beach, California. Dick Beverage, Secretary-Treasurer of the Association was the host of the gathering. The benediction was given by Father Joe Miller, as the audience remembered the many baseball people who had passed away during the last year.
The Secretary recognized the players in attendance and asked them to stand. Among the notables were Del Crandall, Doug DeCinces, and Greg Harris. The minor league players were recognized as well, especially Ed Carroll’s group. These were men who had played in the Dodger organization during the ‘70’s and in recent years have made the Dinner their annual reunion. Special attention was paid to John Kernoski, who is 97 years old and was in the Yankee organization during the late ‘30’s and early ‘40’s. He pitched to Lou Gehrig during spring training in 1939 and may be the last individual living who pitched to the Iron Horse.
Scouts Harry and Bob Minor, Ken Compton and George Genovese were recognized for their many years of service to baseball, and the Secretary then introduced Jay Johstone as Master of Ceremonies. The highlight of the Dinner each year is the presentation of the Win Clark Award to the most outstanding first year player from Southern California and the Chuck Stevens Award to the Southern California player who had the most outstanding minor league season. Jay introduced this year’s winners and presented their awards— shortstop J.P. Crawford of the Philadelphia Phillies organization as the Clark winner and pitcher Kyle Hendricks of the Chicago Cubs organization as the Stevens winner. The parents of both of these outstanding young men were present as were J.P.’s grandparents. Then Jay called upon Phil Oullette , who presented the Sledgebat award to J.P as the most outstanding first year offensive player.
Jay introduced the keynote speaker of the evening, Fred Claire, the former general manager of the Dodgers for many years and was at the helm when Los Angeles won its last World Championship in 1988. Fred kept the audience enthralled as he described his years with the Dodgers and how they sadly came to an end in 1998.
Jay introduced Roland Hemond, the current President of the Association, and he spoke about the University of Phoenix and the close relationship they have with the Association. He then introduced the new agreement the Association has with American Hearing Benefits, a company that will make hearing aids available to Association members and their families at discounted prices. This agreement can be a major benefit to many families
The evening closed with the winners of our raffle of memorabilia items provided by several major league clubs. From the comments we received after the event, a good time was had by all. We will be firming up the date of next year’s Dinner within the next few weeks and will have frequent post on our website through out the year.
The Association is a benevolent organization, which was founded in 1924 by twelve active professional ballplayers. Its sole mission is to provide financial assistance for the ill and indigent players, coaches, managers, scouts and trainers. Since its founding, the Association has helped over three thousand former players with total assistance in excess of $5,000,000.
For more information, contact Dick Beverage, Secretary/Treasurer at (714) 528-2012.
2014 GOLD DONORS
Association of Professional Ball Players of America 101 South Kraemer Avenue, Suite 112 Placentia, California 92870
Monday - Friday • 8 am to 4 pm PST Phone: (714)528-2012 • Fax: (714)528-2037 • Text (714) 306-8560 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org