Off Base
High Society

May 8, 2010, 6:40 p.m. For me, anyway. Attended the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation's (JDRF) 7th Annual Finding a Cure Gala at the Beverly Hilton Thursday night. And what a great night it was.
                    
It was my second such event, and with my wife, Beth, working for JDRF Los Angeles, it was a no-brainer for me to participate in support of a vital cause, and the Main Squeeze. Plus, let's be honest, an occasional night away from the Dodgers helps the psyche more than I'd care to admit.

So I threw on the suit and tie, hair goop, matching socks and the whole nine yards. Since actually donning a shirt with buttons is a pretty big deal for me, this really was the whole nine yards. And I was smoking, quite obviously.

The Dodgers do some neat stuff for JDRF year round, and there was a significant Blue presence to the evening. Former Dodger Todd Zeile is the chapter board chairman, who opened and closed the evening at the dais. A good Dodger and Bruin, and a local guy, Zeile has always been someone I've admired. It's the kind of thing I'd have expected him to be involved in after his playing days were over.

Board members contributed luxury suites for auction, the club donated ticket packages, and there was some spirited bidding. Not by me – but there was.

David Brennan, of the Dodgers Dream Foundation, was in attendance, as was Jill Destefano, who helps coordinate the annual JRDR Walk at Dodger Stadium, and Vice President of Communications, Josh Rawitch.

I got to spend a few minutes with Josh, who I enjoy, toward the end of program. I needed a score anyway, and he had one. John Ely had just gone 6 2/3, and Los Angeles led the Brewers, 3-1. I was pleasantly surprised to hear of Ely's outing, but went straight to a vision of Jonathan Broxton blowing the save. I heard the top of ninth in the car on the way home, and made it to the tube just in time for Andre Ethier's walkoff slam.

Music was provided by Billy Ray Cyrus, and I gotta say, I was entertained. Cyrus plays a left-handed guitar, which to me conjures images of Paul McCartney and Jimi Hendrix. So that was cool.

And parenthetically, when I'm not thinking about giving myself the byline "H. Scott Cole," the replacing of Howie with "Howi" gets some consideration.

Cyrus' band included an electric bass and two acoustic guitar players, who were all great, and one of those women who just kind of smiles and plays the maracas or something. Cyrus can really sing, and he played a long set, as opposed to Kenny Loggins three-songs-and-out routine last year.

Service at the Hilton is incredible, and I was touched by the beautiful fruit plate that was sent my way after I'd declined dessert. I hadn't asked for it, and I wasn't bummed about missing out on chocolate, but given the subject matter of the evening, it was thoughtful, and served with a sincere smile.

Money raised by the good people of Los Angeles the other night? About $1.2 million. High fives all around, everyone. Great, great stuff.

To learn more about juvenile diabetes, visit JDRF Los Angeles

Media Savvy: Here's yet another in an unending series of fine baseball articles by BaseballSavvy.com favorite and IBWAA founding member, Tim Brown, of YahooSports.

A belated shout-out to Chad Moriyama, of Memories of Kevin Malone, not just for this brilliant piece on Chad Billingsley a couple of weeks ago, but for his excellent work in general. Sons of Steve Garvey has been my favorite Dodgers blog for awhile, but Moriyama is catching my eye lately. Keep up the great work, Chad.

And thanks to Jerry Crowe, of the LAT, for his mention of the Statue for Sandy campaign in yesterday's column. Every little bit of publicity helps, and you know me, I'm the Energizer Bunny when it comes to stuff like this. I just keep going and going and going…

Letters. We Get Letters: I've been fortunate to establish some neat email relationships with readers over the years, and in at least one case, a valuable friendship. Crowe's Koufax reference led to a new one yesterday. Here's part of the message, from Bill of Los Angeles.

"[My son's] middle name is Koufax, first name Alexander. We were hoping to call him "Sandy," as a nickname for Alexander, but he won't let us. He insists on Alexander. And he's five, so he gets what he wants.

We've a tradition in our family of using middle names to honor personal heroes. My oldest son's middle name is Eakins, after the painter Thomas Eakins, and my middle son's is Wilder, after Billy Wilder. 

When we got to the third, my wife insists we had agreed on "Hamilton" to go with Alexander, but she was out of it on drugs, and I seized the moment when it came time to fill out the birth certificate application."

Look-Alikes: John Ely and Bret Saberhagen…

Talkback: Your comments are always encouraged…

Statue for Sandy: The Koufax in bronze campaign continues. Please Vote “Yes on 32.” And tell a friend or a member of the media …

Remember, glove conquers all….

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