Puhl Charity Ready
by Wayne Wark (Yorkton This Week & Enterprise)
While Terry Puhl played under the big lights of major league baseball, he never forgot about the smaller lights of Melville. And even when he retired form the ball diamond to the Houston stock market in 1991, he didn’t forget his home.
The Terry Puhl Baseball Dinner is slated for June 27 at Melville’s Prince William Motor Inn—and event and a cause strongly endorsed by none other than Terry Puhl.
“We started working on this last July, and it was something where Terry wanted to do something for the community,” said dinner chairman Garnet Keller.
Puhl, 36, played 14 years as an outfielder with the Houston Astros, New York Mets and Kansas City Royals. He holds or shares four major league records, including most hits in a playoff game.
His chosen charity is minor ball in Melville.
“All the money raised will go towards the purchase of batting cages with pitching machines,” said Keller.
That money will come via an auction of collector’s items and memorabilia from some of the biggest names in professional sports.
Among the goodies expected to attract some attention are baseballs signed by Nolan Ryan of the Texas Rangers, Roger Clemens of the Boston Red Sox and Darryl Strawberry of the Los Angeles Dodgers. As well, balls signed by former greats Johnny Bench, Mickey Mantle and Yogi Berra will be up for grabs.
The NHL will also be represented at the auction, with Tim Cheveldae, Steve Yzerman, Sergei Federov and Bob Probert of the Detroit Red Wings donationg jerseys. Toronto Maple Leafs Grant Fur and Wendel Clark, as well as Patrick Roy of the Montreal Canadiens and Adam Oates of the Boston Bruins will donate autographed sticks.
The famous Detroit “Production Line” of Gordie Howe, Sid Abel and Ted Lindsay will contribute an autographed puck, as will former Chicago Blackhawk great Bobby Hull and son Brett of the St. Louis Blues, the NHL’s top goal-scorer the last three years. Golfing memorabilia will also be on hand, with balls autographed by Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer up for bid.
Keller says his committee has gathered a wide range of items ranging from baseball bats and hockey sticks to collectors’ plates.
“I’ve a hot bunch of stuff I picked up the other day. There’s an autographed stick form Mark Messier, Fuhr and Yzerman,” explained Keller.
“This is a once in a lifetime thing. I don’t know of any other auction that will have the quality of items we’ll have.” But how much money will it fetch? “I have no idea.”
Tickets for the evening--$40 a head or $350 for a table of eight—can be purchased at the dugout in Yorkton as well as Watson’s Sporting Goods and Royal Drug Mart in Melville.
The auction will follow a dinner from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
“We can only handle 300 people,” cautioned Keller. “and I’m sure all the tickets will be sold.”