Price, Ortiz and Wakefield Give Back
Being a professional baseball player takes focus and concentration, but one current and two former Red Sox greats find time to move their focus to helping others – and they use golf to get the job done.
David Price is known throughout baseball for his powerful fastball, but he wields and even greater power in improving the lives of youngsters in his native Tennessee. Price has sponsored golf tournaments and other initiatives as part of his Project One Four Foundation (project14.org).
“We are proud to make our mark on Middle Tennessee by supporting the people who support our community,” Price states on his website. “We sponsor hard-working, dedicated organizations that make an impact on children’s lives by providing a supportive environment to grow and learn.”
The goal of Price’s golf and charitable efforts is to “create positive, lasting change in the lives of children.” Project One Four, named after Price’s uniform number 14, was founded in 2008. According to Price, “Change starts with children, and nothing will change if children don’t have the resources to grow.”
Money raised from golf tournaments and other events recently resulted in the Grand Opening of Miracle Field in Price’s native Murfreesboro, TN, where kids enjoyed a day of play at a sparkling new sports facility.
Like Price, former Red Sox slugger David Ortiz continues to be productive, even after retiring from baseball. The David Ortiz Celebrity Golf Classic, played in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic in December, is nearing a decade of providing support as a key arm of the David Ortiz Children’s Fund (davidortizchildrensfund.org).
Each year, sports and entertainment luminaries gather to play golf help Ortiz’s international causes. According to Ortiz, The fund provides critical pediatric healthcare in the Dominican Republic and throughout New England.
The golf tourney is truly a dream getaway for the links enthusiast. There are numerous packages available offering donors some amazing options. Some of these include a round of golf with a celebrity captain at the Punta Espada Golf Course, a Jack Nicklaus Signature Design course known for its breathtaking ocean views. Top notch entertainment and dining opportunities make the tournament a popular yearly event, all for a host of tremendous causes.
Among the Boston sports celebrities who have attended are Bill Russell, Bobby Orr, Hanley Ramirez, Pedro Martinez, Manny Ramirez, Kevin Millar and Tim Wakefield.
It is no surprise that Wakefield is part of Ortiz’s circle of celebrity contributors. The Red Sox Hall of Fame pitcher is hosting this year’s Red Sox Foundation Golf Tournament (redsoxfoundation.org), Monday, July 31 at Belmont Country Club.
“Any day out on the greens is a good day, and if you can combine it with the ability to raise funds for the great work done by the Red Sox Foundation, then it’s a home run for all of us.” Wakefield said.
Proceeds from the tourney will benefit the Red Sox Foundation’s charitable programs. “Our foundation has a long history of community partnership and works closely with The Jimmy Fund and Dana Farber Cancer Institute,” says Wakefield.
Other beneficiaries include the Dimock Center in Roxbury, Red Sox Scholars, the Mass General Home Base Program for veterans, and Franciscan Hospital for Children in Brighton, which has provided pediatric care for nearly 70 years.
Perhaps it is Price who puts all of this baseball philanthropy in perspective — “My parents always told me that if I ever got in a position to give back to the community, I should.”
A simple, yet life-changing sentiment for sure.
John Molori is an author and columnist for numerous publications. Like him on Facebook at John Molori, Twitter @MoloriMedia. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.