One of my favorite annual events is the Granite State Baseball Dinner, presented by Northeast Delta Dental, recently held at the Radisson Hotel Expo Center, Manchester, New Hampshire. The attendees are baseball fans and representatives of businesses who help to make this fundraiser successful, with the spotlight on honored baseball personalities.
This year’s lineup included 17 celebrity guests, five of which were spotlighted as honored guests: Luis Tiant, who pitched for six major league teams and is recognized as one of the most durable pitchers of his generation; Claudia Williams, author of Ted Williams, My Father: A Memoir, recounting her relationships with one of baseball’s brightest stars; pitcher Chris Carpenter, perhaps one of the most widely recognized players from the Granite State; Tony Perez, one of the most popular Cincinnati Reds of all time; and Rico Petrocelli, who spent his entire 13-year career with the Boston Red Sox. We were proud to honor Johnathan Davis (in absentia) with the Gold Crown Award from Northeast Delta Dental as the Fisher Cats’ 2017 Player of the Year.
The Granite State Baseball Dinner is always positive and fun for everyone who attends. It benefits three terrific organizations: the Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth-Hitchcock (CHaD), New Hampshire’s only comprehensive full-service children’s hospital (www.ChaDkids.org); the Ted Williams Museum, devoted to preserving and building on the rich traditions of our national pastime, baseball (www.tedwilliamsmuseum.com); and the Fisher Cats Foundation, a statewide charitable organization providing scholarships to college-bound New Hampshire and Massachusetts high school student athletes and supporting youth organizations and charities throughout the state (www.nhfishercats.com).
Through sponsorship donations, ticket sales, silent and live auctions, and raffle ticket sales, more than $100,000 was raised in 2017; and, since 2007, the dinner has generated more than $1.7 million for these three worthy charities.