San Diego, CA (August 3, 2005) – The United States Rugby Foundation is auctioning off 12 baseballs autographed by some of the biggest names in Major League Baseball in its ongoing efforts to raise money for the men’s U.S. Collegiate All-Americans for their upcoming tour of New Zealand. The baseballs, signed by current players Jeff Bagwell, Craig Biggio, David Eckstein, Eric Gagne, Torii Hunter, Albert Pujols, Ben Sheets, and Ichiro Suzuki; New York Yankees Manager Joe Torre; along with Hall of Famers Tom Seaver, Don Sutton and Bob Uecker; were donated by Dan Larrea, Director of Team Travel for the Milwaukee Brewers Baseball Club and a former rugby player.
“As a former collegiate rugby player, I recognize the importance of the All-American program and hope this auction of autographed baseballs will raise added support to their tour of New Zealand,” said Larrea.
The baseballs can be found on eBay and the auction will run until 10:00 am PST on Thursday, August 11, 2005. Once on eBay, the easiest way to navigate from ball to ball is by clicking on “View seller’s other items” in the top right hand corner of the page.
“It is very generous of Dan to donate these autographed baseballs to assist us in our fundraising efforts for the All-Americans,” said USRF Executive Director Brian Vizard. “It’s great to see rugby players, whether they are still actively involved in the game or not, giving back to the sport.”
“Dan Larrea’s recognition and support of the All-American program is greatly appreciated,” said All-Americans coach Dave Hodges. “The National Team benefited from Dan’s support during the 2003 RWC qualifier versus Spain in Florida when Dan arranged tickets to the Brewer’s game against the Marlins. As this is a player funded tour, the auctioning of these baseballs will help ease the financial burden on the players and allow them to focus on performing at the highest level.”
The Collegiate All-Americans, comprised of the finest young rugby talent in the country, play Wellington’s Old Boys University Rugby Club on August 20 in Wellington and close out their tour with a match against Massey University on August 24.
The USRF is a non-profit 501 (c) 3 organization established in 1963. Although its main focus is supporting youth and high school rugby, the Foundation also provides grants to coaches and referees; establishes international student exchanges and college scholarships, has assisted the United States Collegiate All-Americans and Boys Under-19 teams, and also provides grants to Safety and Risk Management Research.
For more information about the United States Rugby Foundation, visit www.usrugbyfoundation.org.