UNIVERSAL CITY, CA – Hollywood joined forces with baseball as Baseballers Against Drugs celebrated its 15th anniversary and annual Positive Image Awards Gala. Once again the Sheraton Universal Hotel was home to the festivities and Los Angeles Dodger announcer Rick Monday returned to host, with assistance from sportscaster Joe Buttita. Sports and celebrity guests were in abundance, joining loyal BAD supporters to pay tribute to this year’s Positive Image honorees and raise needed funds for another successful summer season of anti-drug clinics.

Leading the list of honorees was All American Girls Professional Baseball League star and Baseball Hall of Famer Pepper Davis. Davis, who received the 2004 Ernie Banks Positive Image Lifetime Achievement Award, was an All-Star and League Champion who played in the all girls league from 1944-1953. The story of the league and many of Davis’ experiences were celebrated in the hit feature film A League of Their Own for which she served as special advisor. Penny Marshall, who directed the film, was in attendance to pay tribute to her friend Pepper and several of the cast members joined in the fun as well. In fact, table #7 was a popular attraction for attendees who visited with Pepper and Penny, film stars Tracy Reiner, Ann Cusack, and Patti Pelton, as well as former professional softball stars (and sisters) Gina Casey and Alice Fracasso.

Ballplayers in Attendance

Hollywood and professional baseball were also well represented at other tables throughout the evening. Sitting with current pitching stars Randy Wolf (Philadelphia Phillies) and Jeff Suppan (St. Louis Cardinals) was another honoree from the entertainment world. Actor Robert Hays, whose television and film career is highlighted by his memorable portrayal of pilot Ted Striker in the comedy classic Airplane, took home Positive Image in Entertainment honors. His spontaneous performance at the dinner made it evident why he was honored, as his head to head repartee with Penny Marshall and any willing audience member made for some terrific unrehearsed comic fun. Rounding out the list of deserving honorees were businessman Dean Kunicki and attorney Ron Bamieh for Positive Image for Action in the Community.

Sixteen ballplayers joined in the annual celebration including former Negro League stars Ross Davis and Neale Henderson who joined us for the second year in a row. As always there were prizes for many in attendance including sports memorabilia, vacations, DVD players, color televisions - even an opportunity to join Rick Monday in the broadcasting booth at Dodger Stadium! But the biggest prize of all was the most successful gala in BAD’s history.




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