Maddux hosts star-studded charity event at Circa

John Harris-The Sporting Tribune
The Sporting Tribune’s Will Despart takes us inside the Baller Dream Foundation’s Celebrity Poker Tournament and Gala at Circa Resort and Casino.

LAS VEGAS — The stars were out at Circa on Saturday afternoon, and it was for a great cause. 

MLB legend and local mainstay Greg Maddux is hosting a two-day event to raise proceeds for the Baller Dream Foundation in support of the battle against childhood cancer. 

Saturday night was the gala and auction, where attendees were presented with the opportunity to enter to win memorabilia such as signed jerseys from all in attendance, packages from the UFC and WWE, and tropical vacations amongst other luxurious things. Sunday features a celebrity poker tournament with some of the names in attendance.

This is the second year that Maddux has partnered with Circa Resort and Casino to host this event, and Maddux has made various appearances at events for Circa including their MLB opening day festivties.

“I got a chance to meet Derek (Stevens) last year, our first year we had the event and it’s a great casino. It’s a lot of fun,” Maddux said. “You know, you want to bring in celebrities, you want them to have a good time, so we’ll come back next year. This is a great place.”

Some of those celebrities in attendance included fellow MLB pitching legends Randy Johnson and Goose Gossage, Raiders punter AJ Cole, Vikings stars Garret Bradbury and Brian O’Neill among others.

Speaking about his support for the event, Johnson said, “When Greg called and asked if I wanted to come to the event, I said ‘sure’. I’m excited about being here and supporting it. It’s for a great cause for cancer and for my daughter in law having been a cancer survivor.”

Gossage, another member of baseball royalty, was also drawn to the event because of his connection with Maddux from their playing days. Gossage was the wily veteran in the Cubs starting rotation when Maddux was in the early stages of his big league career in 1988.

Gossage said, “Greg was a teammate of mine in Chicago. It was a real pleasure playing with him, 1988 with the Cubs. It’s a great cause, the cancer Foundation and what they do for these victims. Greg and Paige (Maddux) called me and asked me if I’d come last year on the inaugural year (and again this year)“

Gossage joked, “I said ‘Sure, I’d be glad to be back again’. I don’t usually get invited back.”

Raiders punter AJ Cole was there as the Silver and Black’s representative. Cole is quickly becoming one of the faces of Vegas’ sports renaissance, and I asked him how important it is for him to get involved with events like this throughout the city as he assumes this role. 

“Being able to connect with the city and being able to do things local, it’s huge for me. I’ve gotten to know Paige and Greg well over the last couple of years, so being able to help support this foundation is exciting. I think it’s a really cool foundation that does a lot of awesome stuff. But yeah, being able to give in to this city is huge.”

To support the Baller Dream Foundation, visit their website