Greetings from Lead, South Dakota home of the Homestake gold mine – the largest gold producing mine in the US. Too bad the former owners closed it down when gold was selling about $325 per ounce because there is still gold in there and it can be removed for far less than the current value of gold. However, the transfer of the property to the State of South Dakota came with several stipulations and one was that it would never again be used to mine gold.
The Phillies have been anything but a success on the field for the last year and a half but the team recently had a grand success off the field. The team held the Phantastic Auction as a fundraising event for Phillies Charities and the various items in the auction raised a bit over $105K for several local charities. Here are a few of the items in that auction and what they went for:
A dinner party for eight in the Phillies’ executive dining room with Mike Schmidt in attendance: That drew $5,250. My long-suffering wife and I have auctioned off dinner parties for 8 folks as charity fundraisers for the last 5 or 6 years. We do not get bids anywhere near that level. Dinner with Mike Schmidt is a whole lot more of a draw than dinner served by The Sports Curmudgeon.
A private hitting clinic with Ryan Howard: That drew $5,150. Perhaps the winner figures he might offer up a few tips for Howard to use in his plate appearances for the balance of the season.
A round of golf for three with Steve Carlton: That drew $3,500. Given the history of non-communication between Carlton and sportswriters during his career, it would be ironic if the winning bidder brought along two sportswriters as his/her guest.
A round of golf for three with Mike Schmidt: That drew $3,270. Obviously, Phillies’ fans would rather dine with Mike Schmidt than play golf with him.
A kids sleepover (number not reported) in the Phillies’ clubhouse followed by breakfast with the Phillie Phanatic: That drew $4,065. It might be worth “four grand” to see how that creature can eat anything through that proboscis of his.
When the Niners released Ray McDonald last winter, they said that he had exhibited a “pattern of poor decision making”. Those “poor decisions” included two arrests – one for domestic abuse and the other for sexual abuse – in less than a year. He has not been convicted of anything related to those two incidents and the Bears signed him in the offseason. Well, the Bears released him yesterday after he was arrested again on charges of domestic abuse and child abuse. Notwithstanding the outcome of any trial(s) on all of these matters, I think it is fair to say that his “pattern of poor decision making” remains intact.
Finally, speaking of players being released, Greg Cote had this item recently in the Miami Herald:
“The Marlins released catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia. He was a free agent bust, although he did lead the team last season in longest last name.”
More postcards from the road as time permits.
But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………