St. Croix golf trip hits sweet spot for Moyers


April 27, 1994|By Tom Keegan | Tom Keegan,Sun Staff Writer

Major-league ballplayer flies to the tropics, plays in a charity golf tournament, has a relaxing vacation, heads home with a nice tan. Life goes on.

That's the way it's supposed to work anyway.

For the Moyers, Orioles left-hander Jamie and wife Karen, a trip to the Virgin Islands last winter involved so very much more.

The annual golf tournament benefits a children's home in St. Croix, a home for children who have been abandoned, been orphaned or could not be financially supported by their parents.

Jamie and Karen walked into the playroom at the home to visit the children. One girl took an immediate liking to Karen, clung to her, followed her everywhere, cried when she left the room.

"They just bonded right away," Jamie said.

The Moyers are in the process of trying to adopt Cassie, the 3 1/2 -year-old girl from the children's home in St. Croix, the only home she ever has known.

"It's hard to adopt a child from outside the country," Jamie said. "We're trying the best we can. We've been going through the process since December."

For the time being, the Moyers are sponsoring the child while waiting to hear whether she will be able to welcome Dillon and Hutton as her new siblings, Jamie and Karen as her parents.

"It's funny," Moyer said. "You go down there thinking it's going to be a big vacation."

At the same tournament, Moyer befriended Seattle Mariners left-hander Randy Johnson.

Shortly after the holidays, Moyer learned that Gregory Chaya, the 3 1/2 -year-old, leukemia-stricken boy he and Karen befriended last year, had been transferred to a hospital in Seattle, one that specializes in repeat bone marrow transplants.

Not knowing where else to turn, Moyer called Johnson to see whether he could help in arranging transportation for the Chaya family. Johnson made an appearance at an automobile dealership in exchange for a van for the Chaya family.

He also visited Gregory in the hospital and presented him with the ball from his first strikeout this season.

"Randy's a great person," Moyer said. "I'm really impressed with all he's done off the field. To me, it's so important that we as athletes take advantage of our position as role models. We're looked up to by children, and it's important for us to take that seriously."

Don't mess with McLemore

Mark McLemore has worked out under the direction of Phoenix-based martial arts expert Mack Newton the past two winters.

"There are some things I can do that I didn't used to know," McLemore said.

Of course, he wouldn't use them on anyone, would he?

"Just don't make me mad," he said with a smile.

The purpose of working out under Newton had nothing to do with self-defense or learning martial arts moves, McLemore said.

"It was conditioning, just conditioning," McLemore said. "I got myself into as good a shape as I've ever been in physically and mentally."

The regimen called for five two-hour workouts per week.

"You're moving all the time," he said. "It's a very intense workout. I was never out of shape. I was always in baseball shape. But there is a difference between baseball shape and the kind of shape I'm in now."

Vince Coleman, Chili Davis, Bo Jackson and Devon White are among the other major-leaguers who participated in the workouts.

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