More than 50 current and former big leaguers gathered in Las Vegas this week to participate in the Players Trust’s annual advisory board meeting, a poker tournament and its 13th annual golf tournament co-hosted by star outfielders Dexter Fowler and Bryce Harper.
The list of players joining Fowler and Harper, both area residents, was led by Hall of Famers Eddie Murray, Ozzie Smith and Dave Winfield. Among the other former and current ballplayers supporting the events were Sandy Alomar, Sr., Barry Bonds, Bobby Bonilla, Chris Capuano, Royce Clayton, Eric Davis, Rajai Davis, Jeffrey Hammonds, LaTroy Hawkins, Nick Hundley, Gregg Jefferies, Brian Jordan, Kenny Lofton, James Loney, Fred Lynn, Wil Myers, Steve Rogers, Reggie Sanders, Ryan Spillborghs, Drew Stubbs, Carlos Villanueva and Randy Winn.
The MGM Grand Hotel and Casino was the center of activity, housing the guests and hosting the advisory board meeting on Wednesday afternoon followed by a fund-raising poker tournament in the evening.
The annual meeting is an hours-long session during which the players on the advisory board determine the direction the players’ collective charity will take in 2017, including financial decisions and budgeting for the wide array of programs, events and activities they believe will best serve the communities in the United States and abroad where players live and work.
After the meeting, however, the schedule was filled with fun and games to raise funds and help extend the players’ involvement in their communities.
The third annual poker tournament, sponsored by Tia’s Hope, takes place in roped-off area of MGM Grand’s casino floor with the ballplayers testing their poker skills against card players who want to contribute to a great cause as well as compete. Each active and former ballplayer wears his jersey during the tournament and if one of the competitors knocks the player out of the tournament, he or she wins that jersey.
On Thursday, patrons and supporters of the Trust join the players for the golf tournament at Bear’s Best Las Vegas – a unique course made up of 18 holes selected by Jack Nicklaus from his 270 designs worldwide.
Portions of the proceeds of the fundraising events will benefit Las Vegas area charities to be personally selected by Fowler and Harper.
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The Players Trust enjoys the support of Tia’s Hope, Anthem, Betteridge Jewelers, Cannon Cochran Management Service, Inc, Delta Air Lines, Harvest Insurance, Lindbrook Capital, Majestic, Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association, Nike, Poms & Associates, SunTrust, Topps and Las Vegas Sports Network.