World Series champs go golfing for good cause

Napa Valley Country Club hosts Giants Community Fund benefit
2013-02-13T00:02:00Z 2013-02-13T01:52:49Z World Series champs go golfing for good causeMARTY JAMES Napa Valley Register
February 13, 2013 12:02 am  • 

Long after fans have left AT&T Park following a San Francisco Giants game, broadcasters Jon Miller, Dave Flemming, Mike Krukow and Duane Kuiper are still at work. They are in the announcer’s booth, doing the postgame wrap that airs on KNBR 680 AM and CSN Bay Area.

The wrap serves as a follow-up segment to the game and allows for each announcer to offer additional insight and analysis while also selecting their players of the game. It’s a way to connect with fans, said Flemming, a Giants broadcaster since 2004.

“I think the wrap allows us to show our personality a little more,” said Flemming. “After the game, we can tell a few jokes, tell a few stories. It’s a little different than the game broadcast. I think it has allowed the fans to feel closer to us, which is what we want. The wrap has been tremendous for us. Usually we manage to have a few laughs, so we keep it pretty lively.”

Flemming was in town on Monday, playing in the Giants’ 14th annual Napa Golf Outing. Presented by Compadres Rio Grille and The Meritage Resort, the golf tournament at Napa Valley Country Club is a benefit for the San Francisco Giants Community Fund.

Junior Giants, the flagship program of the Giants Community Fund, is a free, noncompetitive and innovative baseball program for boys and girls ages 5 to 18.

The Giants Community Fund collaborates with the San Francisco Giants by using baseball as a forum to encourage underserved youth and their families to live healthy, productive lives. The fund supports Junior Giants leagues throughout Northern California, Nevada and Oregon and provides assistance to targeted community initiatives in the areas of education, health, and violence prevention.

“Whatever I can do to enhance the image of the Giants, I try to do it,” said Hobie Landrith, a Giants catcher from 1959-1961, who played in the event and makes his home in Sunnyvale.

“That’s why I’m here at this golf tournament. I really believe in the Community Fund and what it does for the inner-city kids. The Giants organization is really first class.”

The Junior Giants program serves 20,000 children in 85 leagues across California and into Nevada and Oregon.

The Community Fund provides all of the uniforms, equipment and training necessary to run a league as well as tickets to select Giants games so the youth can experience a major league game.

The Giants’ 2012 World Series trophy was near a registration table, inside the clubhouse, for golfers to see when they checked in.

Other former Giants players in the tournament were Fred Breining (pitcher), Ed Bressoud (infielder), Don Carrithers (pitcher), Orlando Cepeda (infielder), Mike “Tiny” Felder (outfielder), Erik Johnson (infielder), Rich Murray (infielder), Nate Oliver (infielder), Rich Robertson (pitcher), and J.T. Snow (infielder).

Robertson is a 1962 Napa High graduate who is in the school’s Athletic Hall of Fame.

Johnson, a utility infielder in 1993 and ’94, likes the Giants’ chances of repeating as world champions.

“I really think that they have the right personnel, the right people in the right places. And that’s all it takes,” said Johnson, who is from San Ramon. “It just proves to you — it’s not about how much you spend. It’s about the right people that you get that believe in one thing. They have the makeup.

“I think it’s just a fact that you get a bunch of guys that like to be around each other and play well with each other. You get the right people breathing and eating the right food and stuff like that and believing in each other — that goes a long way today. They’re a team.”

Spring training for the Giants began Tuesday in Scottsdale, Ariz., with the team’s pitchers and catchers reporting for duty. The fist practice sessions will be today. Position players will report Friday, with the first full squad workout on Saturday.

San Francisco’s first exhibition game is on Feb. 23 against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

“I think they’re going to have to get at least as much out of the players as they got last year, and in some cases they need to get more,” said Landrith, 83, who rarely misses a Giants game on TV. “They need to have a better year out of (Tim) Lincecum. They need to keep (Pablo) Sandoval healthy. Their pitching is good.”

Soon, Flemming will be back to work, calling Giants games on flagship station KNBR and the Giants Radio Network. Sixteen Cactus League/spring games are scheduled to be on radio.

“I think there is a lot of upside to this team for 2013 where, Lincecum, to me, is going to be better than he was last year,” said Flemming. “They won’t have Brian Wilson again, but I think the bullpen will be outstanding. There are other guys — Brandon Belt, Brandon Crawford — who are going to take steps forward. I think Pablo (Sandoval) can have a much bigger impact through the full regular season.

“I think there are ways for this team to be even better than they were last year — that’s pretty exciting. To me, this team is set up to succeed now, going forward for many years.”

The Giants beat Cincinnati in the Division Series and St. Louis in the National League Championship Series to advance to the World Series. They swept Detroit to win their second World Series title in three years.

“This (past) year, even with the sweep in the World Series itself, I think we’ll all remember how many times the Giants had a must-win game, and actually won the game,” said Flemming. “That to me will define 2012 and that World Series championship — the three in a row in Cincinnati, the three in a row against the Cardinals. That was something pretty remarkable.”

The broadcast team works well together, each announcer bringing something different to the game, said Flemming.

“We get along well,” said Flemming. “One thing that makes us successful as a team, our styles are different. And I think it all works together. I think the personalities mesh, but they don’t overlap.

“Even if the Giants aren’t doing well, there’s something exciting about every game. There’s something to be excited about every day. And I think that’s what the four of us share.”

Giants’ Napa connections

Matt Yourkin, a Napa High graduate, and Tyler Hess, who grew up in Napa and graduated from De La Salle-Concord, are pitchers in the Giants’ minor league system.

Blaine Mauldin, a Napa High graduate, works for the Giants Community Fund.

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