Jim’s Notebook: Brooks Robinson, Bret Bielema On Tap for Little Rock

Big events are scheduled for the next month in Little Rock. To wit:

NATIVE HALL OF FAMER Brooks ROBINSON TO HELP HONOR LR FIELD: Brooks Robinson, who grew up playing on Lamar Porter Field on his way to an eventual Hall of Fame baseball career with the Baltimore Orioles, will return to his hometown to help celebrate the start of a multimillion-dollar renovation of the field on its 77th birthday.

Robinson, who joined the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y., in 1983, will be on hand Saturday, June 15, to lead the birthday festivities for the field, situated at the corner of Seventh and Johnson streets in Little Rock’s Stifft Station neighborhood. Lamar Porter Field, home to the Little Rock Catholic and Episcopal Collegiate high school teams as well as the RBI League in the summer, is the oldest baseball stadium in use in Arkansas. Adjacent to the field is the Billy Mitchell Boys and Girls Club. The renovation project will help the facilities and grounds better serve the city’s youth.

Robinson played his entire career with the Orioles, winning MVP honors in the 1970 World Series win over Cincinnati. He also played for the 1966 world champion Orioles and played in three other World Series.

The June 15 program will take place from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the field, and gates open at 4 p.m.. Tickets are $10 each and are available at Sportstop (10720 Rodney Parham Road). Each ticket includes admission to the event, a hot dog, soft drink and popcorn. Robinson will be available to sign autographs.  All proceeds will benefit the campaign to restore the Lamar Porter Field and complex.

For more information, visit www.lamarportercomplex.com or contact Holt McConnell at (501) 951-4466.

BIELEMA TALKS FOOTBALL WITH SPORTS HALL OF FAME: New Arkansas football coach Bret Bielema will serve as this summer’s “Talking Football” guest with fans and Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame members on Sunday, May 19, at Chenal Country Club. The next day, the coach will bring out the sticks as part of the 15th annual Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame Celebrity Golf Classic at Chenal.

Tickets are $200 each for “Talking Football,” with dinner slated to begin at 6 p.m. in Chenal’s St. Andrews Ballroom. Tables for 10 are available. Call the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame at (501) 663-4328.

The celebrity golf scramble lunch is set for 11:30 a.m. May 20, with golf to follow at 1 p.m. Awards will be presented at the conclusion. Call the Hall to enter a team. Several past inductees of the Hall have committed to play in this year’s tournament. Also, several of Bielema’s assistant coaches plan to attend the “Talking Football” event as well as the Monday golf scramble.

All proceeds benefit the Sports Hall of Fame.

VOLUNTEERING FOR WESTERN: As of this week, 575 people have volunteered to assist in the operation of the Western Amateur, scheduled for July 29-Aug. 4 at The Alotian Club in western Pulaski County.

Volunteer spots are still available — approximately 700 are needed, according to the tournament organizers. Volunteers who pay $100 receive two Alotian shirts, a hat and meals for offering their time in three or more slots to help the tournament run smoothly, plus they can use their badge to view the tournament when they aren’t volunteering. Regular badges to the event are also $100 for the week and are transferable. To volunteer or purchase badges, visit thewesternamateur.com

The Western Amateur is just below the U.S. Amateur as the most prestigious amateur golf tournament in the country, and its list of past winners and Sweet Sixteen finalists is a Who’s Who of golfing greats. Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson are among the past winners.

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