One of the best local charity fundraisers, the 12th Annual Richie Ashburn Home Runs for Heart will be held at Citizens Bank Park on May 20 and 21, benefitting the American Heart Association.
Paying tribute to Ashburn, the former Phillies player and broadcaster who died of a heart attack in 1997, the event gives fans the chance to take a swing from home plate at CBP and try to put one over the fence.
The fundraiser is doubly poignant this year after the passing, also due to heart disease, of broadcaster Harry Kalas, Ashburn's longtime partner.
Drumming up some buzz for the event, the organizers invited some media types to take their cuts, which was scary enough that they moved it inside to the batting cages so no one would see it. They blamed it on the weather, but I'm not buying it.
Typical of the breed was trash-talking, tilty-headed John Gonzalez of the Inquirer who made some decent contact, but also almost fouled one off into the software of his hard drive.
Gonzo is what makes this a great event, because if he's not ashamed to take his batting stroke out there, you shouldn't be either.
For more information about getting involved and joining the program, helping to raise money for the disease that is the No. 1 killer in Pennsylvania, contact Deborah Dixon at the American Heart Association. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 610-234-2415.
You can participate as an individual or form a team of coworkers, family and friends. If Gonzo tries to get in with you, though, forget it.