BERKELEY – Ralph Walker, a long-time supporter of Cal baseball whose son, Tyler, pitched for the Golden Bears and eight years in the Major Leagues, will have the program’s annual fundraising golf tournament named in his honor – The Ralph Walker Cup.
Slated for Monday, Oct. 21, 2013, The Ralph Walker Cup is part of Cal Baseball’s 2013 Alumni Weekend that includes the Oregon State-Cal football game at Memorial Stadium on Oct. 19 and the annual Cal Baseball Alumni Game at 1 p.m. on Oct. 20 at Evans Diamond.
Ralph Walker, who passed away December 22, 2012, was instrumental in re-establishing the Cal Baseball Golf Tournament in 2001. His leadership and unwavering commitment to Cal Baseball helped raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for the school’s baseball program.
“Ralph Walker’s commitment to the Cal Baseball program was inspiring,” said Sam Petke, Co-Chairman of the Ralph Walker Cup and a former Cal baseball player. “He spent countless hours working on behalf of the program without ever looking for any credit. He added an element of class and dignity to the golf tournament that will be missed.”
According to friends and family, three of Ralph Walker’s passions were Cal (he enrolled in the Boalt School of Law in 1962), Cal baseball and golf – which made organizing the Cal baseball golf tournament a natural for the Golden Bear supporter.
“It is fitting that the Cal Baseball golf tournament has been renamed to honor Ralph Walker for it was his leadership, vision and tireless dedication that resurrected it and helped it to become what it is today,” said Ginny Bruzzone, who worked hand-in-hand with Ralph Walker since the fundraising golf tournament restarted in 2001. “It was my privilege and great joy to work alongside him every year. Clearly the goal of the event is to raise money to support the baseball program, but I believe Ralph’s most valuable legacy is that each year his tournament reunites the Cal Baseball family. No one valued family more than Ralph. He was one of the finest men I’ve ever known."
Ralph’s son, Tyler, has been a big supporter of Cal baseball as well. A former walk-on catcher for the Bears, Tyler switch to pitching early in his Cal career and went on to be a second-round draft choice of the New York Mets in 1997 and ended up pitching eight seasons in the Major Leagues, including two outings (2004-06, 2007-08) with the San Francisco Giants.
In true Walker family fashion, immediately after Tyler had signed his contract with New York in 1997, he purchased two sets of jerseys (blue and gold) for the Cal baseball program. Then 15 years after being drafted by the Mets, Tyler Walker returned to Cal to finish his degree in political science, graduating this past May.
The Ralph Walker Cup is an invitation to members of the Golden Bear baseball family and friends to play golf at the beautiful Contra Costa Country Club. Cal supporters can enjoy a day of great stories, 18 amazing holes of golf, cocktail reception and a live/silent auction. The field for the Ralph Walker Cup is limited, so please fill out the registration form on the Cal Baseball Foundation Website Click Here as soon as possible. If someone is unable to attend and would like to support this tournament and the Cal Baseball Team there are tee, green, and tournament sponsorships available. Donations for the silent and live auction are also welcomed. All information about sponsorship and payment options can also be found on the Cal Baseball Foundation site.For additional information on the 2013 Cal Baseball Alumni Weekend, or sponsorship/donation information for the Ralph Walker Cup, please contact the Chairman of the Cal Baseball Foundation, Sam Petke at firstname.lastname@example.org or 415-407-7626.