COOPERSTOWN – Class of 2019 Hall of Famer Lee Smith has returned this week to the scene of his Induction as celebrity host for the Pathfinder Village-Baseball Hall of Fame Golf Invitational, which begins today at the Leatherstocking Golf Course.
The former Chicago Cub will join 23 amateur foursomes on the 18th to support a golf event that raises scholarship funds for Pathfinder Village, the residential community in Edmeston for people with Down syndrome and other developmental disabilities.
The tournament, which also supports Hall of Fame education programs, is sponsored by The Otesaga, NBT Bank and the Coca-Cola Bottling of Northern New England.
Pathfinder CEO Paul Landers showed Smith and his wife, Dyana, and Hall President Tim Mead around the village yesterday.
The Smiths and Mead also took part in a kickball game, now a tradition with visiting Hall of Famers each Labor Day weekend. Johnny Bench, Carlton Fisk, and Smith’s fellow Cub Fergie Jenkins have participated in the past.
Golf events have been the major source for scholarship funds for Pathfinder residents and students since 1982 and directly help the Village’s 90-plus residents and students. More than $2.7 million has been raised for Pathfinder Village through the years.
The tradition of a Hall of Famer as the master of ceremonies began in 2004 and includes: 2018: Carlton Fisk; 2017: Tim Raines; 2016: Rollie Fingers; 2015: Ryne Sandberg; 2014: Bobby Cox; 2013: Rollie Fingers; 2012: Fergie Jenkins; 2011: Johnny Bench; 2010: Jim Rice; 2009: Mike Schmidt; 2008: Harmon Killebrew; 2007: Mike Schmidt; 2006: Robin Roberts; 2005: Carlton Fisk; 2004: Phil Niekro.