“Hank Aaron is a baseball icon and his contributions to this year’s Baseball Dinner will surely make it memorable,” said Governor Crist. “Major League Baseball’s presence in Florida is so important to our economic vitality and during these historic economic times, it is more important than ever that we support and build on successful industries like baseball.”
In 2008, Governor Crist also incorporated a charitable element to the dinner. This year’s beneficiary is 44 Forever, created by Hank and Billye Aaron to help talented and dedicated youth achieve their goals. Aaron will be attending on the organization’s behalf. Detroit Tiger and Hall of Fame member, Al Kaline, along with the newest Hall of Fame selection, Miami native Andre Dawson, and other former greats, will also be in attendance. Major League Baseball Commissioner Allan “Bud” Selig also plans to attend. All proceeds, after expenses, will be donated to 44 Forever.