We are pleased to announce the 2018 Honorees:
Rodney Cline Carew was born on a train in Gatun, Panama on October 1, 1945. He moved with his family to New York when he was fourteen years old, and signed with the Minnesota Twins the day he graduated from high school.
Rod Carew is one of the most talented players to ever don a major league uniform. During his illustrious nineteen-year career he was selected to 18 All-Star teams. He is the all-time All-Star vote leader with 33 million votes – 6 million more than the runner-up. His career statistics explain why on January 8, 1991, he became the 22nd player in history to be voted into Baseball’s Hall of Fame on the first ballot.
In his 12 seasons with the Minnesota Twins, and 7 with the California Angels, Rod amassed 3,053 career hits, 12th on the all-time list at the time of his retirement. He won 7 batting titles, a figure surpassed only by Ty Cobb, Tony Gwynn and Honus Wagner. Rod and Willie Mays are the only players in baseball history to be Rookie of the Year (1967), Most Valuable Player (1977), have 3,000 hits (1985) and be voted into the Hall of Fame (1991). He was also named the Roberto Clemente Award winner (1977) by Major League Baseball as the player who best exemplifies the game of baseball, sportsmanship and community involvement. He was only the 3rd person to have his uniform (#29) retired by 2 teams.
Upon retiring in 1986, Rod decided he would devote his time to working with children. He realized a lifelong dream in the spring of 1987 when The Rod Carew Baseball School opened in Placentia, California. The 7,400 square foot state-of-the-art hitting laboratory was a tremendous success from the day its doors opened. The Rod Carew Baseball School became a valuable resource to major league teams as numerous players, managers, and hitting instructors turned to Rod and his methods. When he felt the urge to return to the major leagues, Rod signed with the California Angels in 1992 as their major league hitting instructor. His impact on the Angels was indisputable as the team batting average rose more than thirty points during Rod’s tenure with the club. In November 1999, Rod was named Major League Hitting Instructor for the Milwaukee Brewers, a position he held until he resigned in October 2001.
When he’s not preaching his art and science, Rod spends a lot of his free time in pursuit of funds to be used in the fight to find a cure for pediatric cancers. In one memorable and emotional appeal by Rod to a joint session of Congress in the fall of 1998, $50,000,000 was appropriated to the National Institutes of Health for pediatric cancer research. In the past 10 years, the Rod Carew Children’s Cancer Golf Classic has also raised more than four million dollars in this fight.
In addition to his Hall of Fame honors, Rod received the 1991 Muscular Dystrophy Association Life Time Achievement Award in recognition of his accomplishments on and off the field. Rod was also honored by General Mills in 1991 when he became one of the select few to ever be featured on a Wheaties box. That year Rod was also named Captain of the American League All-Star team. In August 2002, Rod was inducted into the United States Marine Corps Sports Hall of Fame, as he served in the Marine Reserves in the late sixties.
Today, in addition to his charitable works, Rod is still actively involved in baseball. He is currently in his 16th season on the executive staff of the Minnesota Twins and his 10th with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. In the summer of 2016 the award for the MLB American League Batting Champion was named the Rod Carew Award.
In September 2015 Rod suffered a massive heart attack. He had an LVAD (left ventricular assist devise) implanted into his heart. On Dec 16, 2016 Rod received a heart and kidney transplant. The donor was 29 year old former NFL player Konrad Reuland. He continues to do what he knows and loves best. He imparts his knowledge of baseball to amateurs and professional players alike. Rod and his wife Rhonda also lead the fight for heart health awareness through a campaign with the American Heart Association.
Rod Carew is a dedicated family man and successful businessman who continues to be a role model for all young people. During his career he was respected not only as a great talent, but as a class act in and out of uniform.
Reggie Jackson is a former Major League Baseball player who played 21 professional seasons, and was inducted into the national Baseball Hall of Fame in 1993. His first ballot Hall of Fame vote of 93.6% is the 16th best in the game’s history. Jackson’s 563 career home runs and 1702 RBI rank 14th and 25th respectively, and he was voted to the American League All Star Team fourteen times.
One of a handful of athletes recognizable by his first name only, “Reggie” also earned the moniker “Mr. October” for his World Series heroics with the Oakland As and New York Yankees in the 1970’s. His 5 home runs in the 1977 Series set a World Series record that still stands, and has been equaled only twice in the 40 years since.
Reggie helped Oakland win 5 consecutive American League West titles, 3 consecutive A.L. pennants and 3 consecutive World Series Championships. 2 years later he was in the Bronx, helping the Yankees win 4 A.L. East titles, 3 A.L. pennants, and 2 consecutive World Series Championships. He will forever be remembered for his 1977 World Series feat of 4 consecutive home runs on 4 consecutive pitches from 4 difference pitches; three, of course, coming in the final game.
In addition to his 14 All Star selections, Jackson was the A.L. MVP in 1973, the World Series MVP twice, a 2-time Silver Slugger Award winner, and the 1977 recipient of the Babe Ruth Award. Perhaps most significant of all was Jackson’s hiring as Special Assistant to the Principal Owner by George Steinbrenner, despite their tumultuous relationship, a position he has held for more than 25 years with the most valuable franchise in professional sports.
Born in 1946 in the Philadelphia suburb of Wyncote, PA, Reginald Martinez Jackson was a gifted athlete, but never forgot his father’s words: “Sports are great, son, but your legs will give out someday. Get an education. No one can ever take that away from you.” He attended Cheltenham High School and Arizona State University before his selection by the Kansas City Athletics as the number 2 overall pick in the 1966 Major League Baseball draft. His legs never did give out, but neither did his father’s words; following his retirement from baseball, Reggie founded the Mr. October Foundation for Kids.
For more than 20 years, his foundation’s mission has been to provide disadvantaged youth with access to technology and STEM curriculum, thereby leveling the educational playing field, and enhancing the greater good of our communities and nation. To date, the Foundation has helped nearly half a million minority youth to gain access to STEM curricula, and helped thousands more to earn degrees in various STEM-related disciplines. Reggie’s current passion for helping our youth receive a relevant education is as strong as his passion ever was for the game of baseball.
William Theodore Walton, III (Bill) was born on November 5th, 1952, in San Diego, California.
His long career in basketball began in 4th grade. While in high school he was only player to ever make the USA Senior Men’s National Basketball Team and play in the World Championship and/or Olympics. Walton is the first of only 2 male CA high school basketball student athletes to be enshrined in the National High School Hall of Fame.
Walton enrolled at UCLA in 1970, where he played center for John Wooden’s Varsity team for 3 seasons, after an undefeated year with the freshman team. He was a member of 2 undefeated NCAA championship teams compiling an NCAA record 88 consecutive game winning streak.
Bill Walton is a 3-time recipient of the NCAA Player of the Year Award. Walton is a 3-time All-America College Player and winner of the Sullivan Award for the United States Best Amateur Athlete of 1973. He was named to the Pacific 8 All-Conference first team 3 times and was Pac-8 Conference Player of the Year for three consecutive years. At UCLA Walton was a scholar-athlete who also earned Academic All-America honors three years in a row.
Walton’s professional career began when he was the #1 overall pick in the 1974 NBA Draft by the Portland Trailblazers. He was a member of their championship team in 1977. 9 years later he earned another championship title with the Boston Celtics in 1986.
Walton is one of only 4 players in the history of basketball to have won multiple NCAA and multiple NBA Championships. Walton is also the second of only 5 players in the history of the NBA to lead the league in both blocked shots and rebounding in the same season.
He remains active in basketball through clinics, camps, coaching, and television commentary. He started his broadcasting career in 1990 as an analyst for the then Prime Ticket Network. Walton worked for CBS Sports in the early 90’s during the NCAA Final Four and then for NBC for many years. He has been honored multiple times by the Southern CA Sports Broadcasters Association with the Best Television Analyst/Commentator award. In 2009, Walton was named one of the top 50 sports broadcasters of all time by the American Sportscasters Association.
In 1993, Walton was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, MA. Walton also became a member of the Academic All- America Hall of Fame in 1994. For his television broadcasting work, Walton has been nominated for numerous Emmy awards and in 2001 won an Emmy for best live sports television broadcast. In 1997 Walton was selected as one of the NBA’s Fifty Greatest Players of all Time. The NCAA honored Walton with their Silver Anniversary Award in 1999 for having made significant professional and civic contributions since he completed his intercollegiate eligibility 25 years ago.
Walton is currently the Executive Chairman of Connect SD Sport Innovators (SDSI), a non-profit, business accelerating, trade organization that connects and drives the growth of Southern California’s vibrant sports economy by offering innovative programs and services for startups, mature companies and service providers.
Marc Kerner, M.D., F.A.C.S.
Marc Kerner, MD, FACS, is double board certified by the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, and The American Board of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery. He is one of only approximately 850 surgeons who have achieved this designation. Dr. Kerner graduated magna cum laude from the University of Southern California School of Medicine. While there, he received the Outstanding Student Research Award, Dean’s List honors, and was elected to the elite all-university honor society, The Skull and Dagger Society, for outstanding contributions to the university. He was the co-founder of the USC Journal of Medicine, a student-run, peer-reviewed journal that published articles from both faculty and students, and had a distribution of over 25,000 each quarter.
Dr. Kerner completed his surgical training at UCLA under the guidance of Paul Ward, MD, a pioneer in head and neck surgery. He completed a Fellowship in surgical research under a joint appointment with the Department of Molecular Pathology, as well as advanced microsurgical techniques with the Department of Plastic Surgery. Following the completion of his formal training, Dr. Kerner attended mini-fellowships in facial plastic surgery, sinus surgery, and minimally invasive thyroid surgery.
Dr. Kerner remains on the clinical faculty at UCLA and has attended to teaching medical students and residents at Olive View-UCLA medical center as well as providing yearly instructional courses for advanced sinus and facial plastic surgical techniques.
He has written numerous articles, developed a number of cutting edge surgical techniques and instruments, and has lectured nationally and internationally. Dr. Kerner has been recognized as the best ENT by the Los Angeles Daily News, the California State Assembly, the California State Senate, and received numerous awards from national societies. He has been featured in the media and is sought after for his opinions by both the print media and TV.
Dr. Kerner was the first to use computer-aided image guided technology for sinus surgery in southern California, the first to introduce powered instrumentation in sinus surgery to UCLA and the community, and balloon sinus technology, as well as the introduction of platelet gel technology in maxillofacial and facial plastic surgery.