DON ZIMMER ROAST

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UNCASVILLE, Conn. - Baseball celebrities gathered in

Connecticut to honor and poke fun at one of their own: Don Zimmer.

The former Yankees bench coach and Red Sox manager was the center of

attention at a charity fund-raiser at the Mohegan Sun casino Saturday night.

Guests included former Yankees great Yogi Berra, Yankees manager Joe Torre,

former Yankees player and current Tampa Bay coach Lou Piniella, former Los

Angeles Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda and Yankees pitching coach Mel

Stottlemyre.

"They say you can tell the character of a man by those who attend your

funeral. Well, look around here tonight," Lasorda said.

Berra drew laughter from the audience when he joked that he would have one

more World Series ring if it weren't for Zimmer.

Zimmer was taken out of the 1955 World Series in Game 7 in favor of Sandy

Amoros, who caught a ball hit by Berra that helped the Brooklyn Dodgers win.

"I could have had 11 rings if he was still playing in that game," Berra

said.

Zimmer covered his face and blushed through the night, sometimes laughing

so hard he was crying. He said he was honored by the attention.

"It's a tremendous thrill to have your peers think that much of you,"

Zimmer said.

Zimmer, 72, has been involved in baseball for 57 years. He has six World

Series rings, four as a coach with the Yankees.

Besides Boston, he has managed the San Diego Padres, the Texas Rangers and

the Chicago Cubs.

Before becoming the senior adviser for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, Zimmer was

bench coach for Torre and the Yankees for eight seasons.

The event was a fund-raiser for the Families of Spinal Muscular Atrophy.

More than 1,500 people paid $250 a ticket to attend.

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