Baseball Rivals Unite for Cancer 2009: Christopher Annino

Baseball Rivals Unite for Cancer

by Christopher Annino Local New London legend, Mitchell College Hall of Fame Inductee, former New York Yankee, and Hodgkin&226&8364&8482s Disease survivor Johnny Ellis founded

The CT Sports Foundation Against Cancer Dinner/Auction in 1987. The annual dinner raises money to assist cancer patients and their families. This year&226&8364&8482s dinner was held on Friday, February 6th at Mohegan Sun Casino. Yankees legends Rich &226&8364&339Goose&226&8364 Gossage, pitcher, Yogi Berra, catcher, Don Zimmer,&194 Bucky Dent, Ron &226&8364&339Gator&226&8364 Guidry, Rick Cerone, Graig Nettles and&194 former Boston Red Sox slugger Jim Rice, were just a few who attended the event. &226&8364&339John Ellis was a part of the swap when they traded me, from what I knew of him as a player he was a kind and generous man. Never really got to know him that well, but it is interesting tonight that our paths cross again,&226&8364 said Graig Nettles, former Yankee&226&8364&8482s third baseman. John and a few other Red Sox legends Roger LaFrancios, Bob Stanley, and Rich Gedman met weeks prior to the dinner at the CT Dug Out Club.&194 Each player mentioned how great a ball player and a person John is. In regards to facing the hard throwing arms of rival Yankee&226&8364&8482s &226&8364&339Goose&226&8364 Gossage and Ron Guidry, Jim Rice said &226&8364&339We were never rivals on the field, in fact we were more equal than people think. We all loved the game and played it with a passion that&226&8364&8482s all that mattered. We wanted to see how far we could go and we were loyal to our teams.&226&8364 The charity event was filled with celebrities and sports icons reflecting on the golden years of baseball. &226&8364&339Goose&226&8364 Gossage was the guest of honor and prior to his speech he said, &226&8364&339 I am very proud for Jim for getting inducted, I feel that Graig Nettles should be next. This is a wonderful event and it&226&8364&8482s an honor to be the guest of honor. Cancer has affected us all in one-way or another. We need to find a way to strike it out!&8221

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