05/22/08 5:34 PM ET
Dodgers hit the links for fundraiser
Players, coaches, broadcasters turn out for Dream Foundation
By Rhett Bollinger / Special to MLB.com
The event, which paired foursomes with a coach, broadcaster or former or current Dodger, allowed fans to interact with the Dodgers while raising money for an important cause.
"It's always good to be with the fans," pitcher Chad Billingsley said. "You only get so many chances to see them when you're out there on the field. You're out there doing your work, and you don't have a chance to stop and interact. So it's good to get to meet them here and have fun."
All of the proceeds from the event went to the Dodgers Dream Foundation, which was founded in 1998 and helps create educational, athletic and recreational opportunities for the youth of greater Los Angeles.
"The foundation has programs in literacy, health -- such as ThinkCure! and recreation -- like our Dodgers' Dream Fields. And our newest emphasis is the environment," said David Brennan, the team's community affairs manager.
The tournament featured several former Dodgers greats, including Tim Leary, Ken McMullen, Al Downing, Jay Johnstone, Rudy Law, Bobby Castillo, Matt Luke, Don Newcombe, Lee Lacy, Ken Landreaux, Tommy Davis, Mariano Duncan, Jimmy Campanis, Fernando Valenzuela and Lou Johnson.
Former Dodger and broadcaster Rick Monday, who couldn't play in the event because he was hosting another fundraiser later in the day with Dodgers manager Joe Torre, said the golf outing was important for former players because it gives them a chance to remain active in the community.
"One of the things we talk about as former players is that we want our young people to dream," Monday said. "We want our young people to not give their dreams to someone else. This is what helps maybe a few kids here and there to follow their dreams."
Johnson, who remains a part of the Dodgers organization with his work in community affairs, echoed Monday's sentiments about the ability to help others by participating in the tournament.
"When you say charity or foundation, that means you're helping somebody probably you don't know," Johnson said. "But it makes no difference as long as you know, and that's why we show up here. If one person is helped out ... then that's gratifying to all of us."
Several current Dodgers also played on their off-day, including Jonathan Broxton, Chin Lung-Hu, Scott Proctor, Joe Beimel and Billingsley.
"It's a good way to spend a day off, and we get to have a fun time doing it," Beimel said. "I usually only golf once a year and it's at this tournament."
Monday, who had a 19-year Major League career, said it's important for the players to get away from baseball every once in a while, because it's such a grueling season.
"It's a great respite for the players, because it's a long season. You have a chance to come out and build relationships with other people, and at the same time know that you're doing some good," said Monday.
The fundraiser featured a silent auction, in which fans could bid on experiences such as throwing out the first pitch at Dodger Stadium or on several autographed baseballs or jerseys. The live auction featured a trip to the 2008 All-Star Game in July, and there was also a raffle for additional prizes.
Rhett Bollinger is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.