Celebrity Baseball Greats Visit Casino & Firekeeper

MAYETTA:  Six baseball legends including Frank White, Mike Torrez, Ken Berry, Al Fitzmorris, John Mayberry and Amos Otis signed autographs yesterday at the Prairie Band Casino & Resort (PBCR) and participated today in an All-Star Celebrity Golf Classic at Firekeeper Golf Course.

Both events were designed to to promote and raise funds for the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum that is located in Kansas City. Bob Kendrick, president of the museum, who was present at both events, told the News this morning that the PBCR is one of the museum’s best supporters.  “They have embraced us by sponsoring several of our events like the golf tournament today and last year’s celebration of the Rawlings Negro League Gold Glove Awards,” he said. “They are great promoters for the museum and have been very good to us.”

Yesterday’s autograph signing, that drew a large crowd, was held at the casino where an “They Were All Stars” travelling exhibition was mounted.  The exhibit was previously developed by the museum to be in conjunction with the Major League All-Star Game that occurred in Kansas City last year. The exhibit chronicles twenty baseball players who transitioned from the Negro Leagues into the Majors and became All-Stars.  In addition, nine Gold Glove awards that were given posthumously to Negro Leagues players were also displayed at the exhibit.

Amos Otis, who played center field for the Kansas City Royals from 1970-1983, was also interviewed today and said that he thought the Prairie Band Casino & Resort was one of the best destination casinos he’s ever seen. “I live in Las Vegas,” he said, “and your casino and this golf course rivals any of the ones found there.”

Frank White, who played second base for the Kansas City Royals from 1973-1990, also told the News that the support from the casino and community here the past two days has been wonderful.  He sits on the advisory board for the museum and is a native of Kansas City.  “I’m grateful to the PBCR for all they’ve done these  past few years.  White also pointed out the good work that museum president Kendrick has been doing.

Here are some photos taken of the celebrities with various PBCR staff and tribal members taken by the News:

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Frank White played second base for the Kansas City Royals from 1973-1990.

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(Left to right) Barry Coffin, Ryan Schuetz, Ken Berry and Steve Ortiz.  Berry played center field in the Major Leagues from 1961-1975 and was selected as an All Star when he played for the Chicago White Sox in 1967.

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(Left to right) Jerry Tuckwin, Russell Bradley, Bob Kendrick, Junior Wahweotten and Amos Otis.  Kendrick is president of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum and Amos Otis played center field in  Major League baseball for the Kansas City Royals from 1970-1983.

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Assistant General Manager of the PBCR Steve Ortiz (left)  with Mike Torrez.  Torrez was a Major League pitcher for 18 years and had one of his best years ever as a New York Yankee in the 1977 World Series.  He also played for the St. Louis Cardinals, Montreal Expos, Baltimore Orioles, Oakland A’s, Boston Red Sox and New York Mets.

Dom-Randy-Steve-John Mayberry 1.jpg

(Left to right) Dominic Ortiz, Randy Towner, Steve Ortiz and John Mayberry. Mayberry was a first basemen in the Major Leagues from 1968-1982 and played a few years for the Kansas City Royals.

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(Left to right) is Al Fitzmorris, who pitched for the Kansas City Royals from 1969-76, Frank White, and Matt Fitzmorris, Al’s son.

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This team from Holton and Topeka participated in the golf tournament today.  From left to right is Chris Boswell, Michael Mayfield, Doug Ortlieb, and Jamie Bachura.  Proceeds from the tournament go to help raise funds for the museum.

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PBC&R marketing staff and their interns stop for a pose holding some autographed baseballs from the players.  Left to right is Chele Kuhn, Kira Vega, Nes Hubbard, Kelli Duermeier and Sheryl Blue.  Vega and Hubbard have been college interns this summer at the casino.

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A photograph of the travelling exhibit which ended yesterday.