Nationals Manager Davey Johnson will host the first annual Davey Johnson Celebrity Invitational golf tournament, to be held Friday and Saturday at Rosen Shingle Creek Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The proceeds will benefit Lighthouse Central Florida, a charity that supports the blind and has been close to Johnson for years.
Johnson and his wife, Susan, lost their son, Jake Allen, to a virus in his lungs two years ago. They dedicated a huge part of their lives to caring for Jake, who was born deaf and blind and lived to age 34. This weekend, with the help of other members of the Nationals’ organization, the Johnsons will honor Jake and try to raise money for people like him.
The list of attendees is impressive. Bryce Harper and his brother, pitching prospect Bryan, will participate. General Manager Mike Rizzo does not play golf, but will attend. So will first baseman Adam LaRoche, who for the weekend will place his devotion to Johnson’s cause ahead of his business as a free agent. LaRoche hopes to re-sign with the Nationals, and despite a lack of recent talks he’ll show up for Johnson.
Former Nationals center fielder Rick Ankiel and hitting coach Rick Eckstein and his brother David, the 2006 World Series MVP, will also be there.
It’s a solid roster of athletes outside the of Nationals’ connections: Brooks Robinson, Jim Palmer, Justin Verlander, Barry Larkin, Darryl Strawberry, John Havlicek, Gary Sheffield and several others.
You can buy tickets to the tournament, sponsor the event or make a donation to Lighthouse Central Florida through the tournament web site.