PITTSFORD, N.Y. - Aside from the rare times pitchers get in trouble for bringing their clubs on the road, golf and baseball generally have a solid marriage. No one agrees on that more than LPGA pro Amanda Blumenherst and her husband, Oakland A's first baseman Nate Freiman.
When Blumenherst is on Long Island this month for the U.S. Women's Open at Sebonack Golf Club in Southampton, the A's will be home against the Reds and Cardinals -- mostly in afternoon games. But she will follow the best she can, having signed up for the MLB package on her computer. Often, she is up beyond 1:30 a.m.
"I'm going to say the time change is killing me," she said, adding that she did get to see him play in person at Yankee Stadium and Fenway Park. "Both were just amazing experiences."
They have been on separate travel schedules often since their January wedding, but both have been on ascending career paths. Freiman was named the American League Rookie of the Month for May and Blumenherst had the first-round lead at the ShopRite LPGA Classic last week.
"I have to pinch myself sometimes," the golfer said. "He's just so excited and so happy, and he's worked so hard throughout all the minors, and to finally have us both be at the majors of our sport and just really enjoying it and being able to support each other . . . We understand our different schedules and sometimes we go a couple days without talking, but very few people can say they've done this."
Golf, baseball raise money
More common partnerships between golf and baseball involve the latter using the former to raise funds and awareness in outings. Bud Harrelson, Rollie Fingers and Gaylord Perry were among the Major League Baseball alumni at a successful event on Bethpage Red last month for KinderVision (www.thegreatestsave.org), which is devoted to educating children and teens against predatory behavior. A Mickey Mantle jersey went for $4,300 in a post-round auction.
"This will be an annual event. This is a great area," Douglas Sebastion, founder of KinderVision, said.
Griffey Jr. in Bethpage event
In conjunction with the All-Star Game at Citi Field, Ken Griffey Jr. will headline the Players Trust All-Star Golf Tournament at Bethpage Black July 17. David Robertson and Ike Davis will be the co-hosts in a fund raiser for superstorm Sandy relief. Ron Darling, Al Leiter and Aaron Boone also are scheduled to play. Information is available through email to PlayersTrust@mlbpa.org.
Islander alumni in outing
Pat LaFontaine, Bob Nystrom, Benoit Hogue, Derek King and other Islanders alumni will play at Middle Island Country Club Saturday to help a charity that is expected to surpass the $1 million mark.
This will be the 14th year of the McMahon Family Golf Outing, organized by Joe McMahon, the Islanders' former equipment manager, who holds the event in memory of his mother, who died in 1999, and his son Aidan, who died at 1 of liver disease in 2002. Proceeds (www.lam-foundation.com) go to the American Liver Foundation, Hospice Care Network and Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation. "Every time I talk about it, I could cry," McMahon said.
NFLers take to the links
Rounding out the inter-sport report is the Rival Golf Classic, chaired by Garden City resident Bob Catell (former head of KeySpan and National Grid) and former Giant Harry Carson. The outing (www.rivalgolfclassic.com) at Upper Montclair Country Club in New Jersey June 24 brings together alumni of the Giants, Cowboys, Redskins and Eagles for the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation.
The top high school girls golfers in Nassau and Suffolk will play a Ryder Cup-style all-star match June 25 at Huntington Crescent, said Smithtown Landing's director of golf Michael Hebron, who is sponsoring it. The Hall of Fame teacher said he mentioned the idea to Smithtown East coach Tom Kane, who quickly organized it . . . Spring Lake Golf Club in Middle Island announced that every Wednesday this summer, military personnel and first responders will get a green fee discount. If they play after 11 a.m., the cart is free . . . The U.S. Open's return to Merion this week recalls the last Open there in 1981 won by David Graham, but was nearly won by George Burns III of Port Washington, who had led after three rounds. Burns missed a short putt on 18 that dropped him from solo second to joint second with Bill Rogers. "I was on the plane that night with George Burns," ESPN analyst Curtis Strange said, "and let's just say he wasn't a happy camper."