I'm inquiring about an article you wrote on July 22, 2000, about Ron Burgess. I came across an autographed, framed picture with a number of celebrities at an auction in Texas this past weekend; I believe it is connected to your article. I just wanted to know if there was any other info you had from this auction and golf outing in Oklahoma in 2000. I don't know the value of this piece of memorabilia, but I would like to know the whole story behind it.
— Jay G., Irving, Texas
Most of what we know of this matter comes from the very same Ron Burgess, an erstwhile travel agent who still haunts auctions.
The Kids Come First Celebrity Golf Classic and charity auction was begun by Hall of Famer Mickey Mantle and later taken over by former professional golfer Marshall Smith.
Burgess served as the auctioneer for the event. Pete Rose, who had already been put on organized baseball's blacklist for gambling on baseball, was the star attraction and featured speaker at the event. The event at Shangri-La Resort on the Grand Lake of the Cherokees in Oklahoma drew lots of people willing to rub elbows with athletes and celebrities.
Among the celebrities joining Rose were actor Dale Robertson; retired astronaut Tom Hennen; former Detroit Lions coach Tom Hudspeth; ex-major leaguers Roy Sievers, Cal McLish, Gaylord Perry, Jim Perry, Kevin Bass, Ryne Duren, Bobby Morgan, Vern Law and Tom Tresh; former NFL players Bernie Allen, Matt Monger and Steve Owens; race car driver Tom Sneva; and country and western singer Red Segal. Owens, a former Oklahoma Sooner quarterback, also won the 1969 Heismann Trophy.
Many of their signatures are among those on the framed panel.
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