Thursday, July 10, 2008

A Benefit For Jerry Casale

Next Monday at Professor Thom's, there will be a special evening for a special guy. It will be a benefit for former Red Sox pitcher Jerry Casale. Jerry, a native of Brooklyn, pitched for the Red Sox from 1958-60, with his best year being 1959, when he won 13 games. He went on to pitch two more seasons with the Los Angeles Angels and Detroit Tigers. (He's also the answer to a great trivia question: "Who gave up Carl Yastrzemski's first career home run?")

After Jerry's career ended, he opened a popular Italian restaurant and bar in midtown Manhattan called Pino's, and he even had a mural of Fenway Park on the wall of the restaurant. The eatery was a home away from home for Red Sox fans, and it was definitely a forerunner of Professor Thom's. (I actually had the pleasure of meeting Jerry at a BLOHARDS dinner in 2006.) Jerry was a great raconteur who would regale his customers with his terrific stories of his playing days.

But sadly, Jerry suffered a stroke in late 2006, and he's had a difficult time meeting many of his medical costs. So, to honor Jerry and help him out, Red Sox fans will gather at Thom's this Monday night at 7 PM for a night of raffles and auctions. There will be two special items up for auction: an autographed ball from Josh Beckett and an autographed bat from Mike Lowell. (Both were graciously donated by the Red Sox.) There will be other things up for raffle, like books and sports DVDs, tickets to the August 17th game at Fenway against Toronto, as well as a vacation package to Vermont from Harpoon, and items donated by former Jet Joe Klecko.

There will also be some special guests, such as Budd Mishkin from New York 1, Red Sox fan and film critic Jeffrey Lyons, jazz great John Pizzarelli, and Boston comedian Paul "Fitzy" Fitzgerald. There should be a huge crowd on hand, and the event will go on from 7-10 PM. There will be a donation made from all persons attending at the door.

I hope many of you can come out and support Jerry this Monday night. For more information, you can call Professor Thom's at: 212-260-8490.

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