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Past, present A's come together for charity golf event

Pitchers Cook, Chavez among those who attend club's Community Fund Golf Classic

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Past, present A's come together for charity golf event

ALAMO, Calif. -- Ryan Cook could not care less about golf. To the A's reliever, baseball is the only sport that matters. The rest are just for fun.

But Cook was happy to spend an off-day on the links, and he jumped at the opportunity to attend Thursday's A's Community Fund Golf Classic, sponsored by Chevron and Grant Thornton LLP.

Cook joined current and former Oakland players, coaches, fans and front-office personnel under cloudless skies at the Round Hill Country Club in Alamo, Calif., which played host to the 32nd annual edition of the event.

Established in 1981, the Community Fund supports charitable organizations throughout the Bay Area.

"I just feel like [the A's] have given us such a great opportunity, that in a sense I want to come back and help them as much as you can," Cook said. "If it means getting a few guys out here, and maybe a few more tickets for this thing sold or a few more groups bought in, I don't have a problem with it."

Others on hand included pitcher Jesse Chavez, manager Bob Melvin, coaches Chili Davis and Ariel Prieto, broadcasters Ken Korach and Vince Cotroneo, and former players Vida Blue, Ray Fosse, John "Blue Moon" Odom and Shooty Babitt.

"Any time you can help a charity or give back, whatever event it may be, it's always good to at least do your part and show up," said Chavez, making an appearance on his 31st birthday.

Blue, who took up golf in 1989 and boasts a 10 handicap, was thrilled to catch up with old teammates and assist the Community Fund.

"The A's Community Fund is special to me because of what they do," Blue said. "Just reaching out to a lot of the inner city and helping with the programs and refurbishing and building new ballparks for the kids. Sports is a big thing in a lot of kids' lives, and even though they may come from an at-risk community, they still want to play sports."

"It's been a huge part of our endeavors here for quite a while now, and this tournament's kind of the culmination and the big event for it," said Melvin, a once-avid golfer who no longer plays due to a golf-induced wrist injury. "Whatever we can do to help out and support, we're all for."

Cook was the lone current Oakland player to get on the course, reuniting with his same foursome of non-professional athletes from last year's event -- much to their delight -- in a four-person scramble format.

On their first hole, all four shots sliced right.

"We're good over there," Cook cracked. "We've got that [other] hole covered."

Golfers were greeted at the 18th hole by children from the Northern California Golf Association's Youth on Course program, and for every eagle on 18, Chevron Eagles for Education donated $2,500 to be split between the Community Fund and Youth on Course.

The Classic concluded in the early evening with an awards banquet and a silent auction.

Aaron Leibowitz is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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