Oct. 17, 2011
The Auburn baseball team has scheduled the annual home run derby for 7pm on Friday, Oct. 28, at Plainsman Park. The format for the event remains the same with all of the money raised going to the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Lee County and the Hudson Family Foundation.
"Partnering with Tim and Kim and The Hudson Family Foundation takes our event to a new level," Auburn Head Coach John Pawlowski said. "At the end of the day, we want to blow our past efforts out of the water, and we certainly have an all-star cast participating in the home run derby. My hope is that the Auburn family will come out to watch some of the great players that have come through Auburn in the recent years hit some home runs and raise some money."
Community service has always been an important part in the lives of Tim and Kim Hudson, both former students at Auburn University. With his success in Major League Baseball first with the Oakland Athletics and now with the Atlanta Braves, Tim is using his influence as one of the most recognizable faces in Auburn baseball history to give back to the Auburn/Opelika community, partnering his Hudson Family Foundation up with the Auburn baseball team for the eighth annual Celebrity Home Run Derby.
"Our goal is to make this into a premier fundraising event for both the Auburn baseball team and the Hudson Family Foundation," Tim Hudson said. "Having moved back into the Auburn area and raising a family here, we want to give back to the community as much as we can. This is a win-win for our foundation and for the Auburn baseball program."
Hudson, a pitcher for the Braves and a former All-America and National Player of the Year while at Auburn, has connected with former teammates both at Auburn and in Major League Baseball to be a part of this year's event.
The list of current Major League Baseball players that will participate is Hudson, himself a .379 hitter with 21 career home runs while at Auburn, current Atlanta Braves catcher and former Auburn letter winner David Ross and current Braves infielder and close personal friend of the Hudson family, Wes Helms.
The event will also bring back a handful of recent Auburn hitters in Brian Fletcher, Hunter Morris and Kevin Patterson, which were three of the four core hitters in Auburn's record-breaking 2010 season that won the SEC West and swatted a school-record 131 home runs.
Rounding out the group will be Gabe Gross, currently an undergraduate assistant with the Auburn baseball team and formerly a first-round pick out of Auburn and a seven-year MLB veteran, and Jonathan Schuerholz, who lettered at Auburn from 2000-02 and advanced to Triple-A in professional baseball before joining the Braves system in an on-field capacity and is currently the manager of the Gulf Coast League Braves.
To raise money for the event, a minimum $2 donation is requested at the gate and for every $5 donated on top of the gate donation fans will be entered to win signed memorabilia from the participants, UnderArmour and Auburn baseball packages and Braves ticket packages, among other things.
Five local businesses (Auburn/Opelika Tourism Bureau, Cooks Pest Control, King Family and Cosmetic Dentistry, Marco's Pizza and Tiger Rags) have already pledged a minimum of $500 to be an official sponsor of the event.
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