SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- The first home run of Mike Yastrzemski's 2021 season was clutch, a go-ahead blast securing a win at San Diego on April 5. What the Giants outfielder didn't know, is that very home run was a catalyst in a fundraising effort to raise money for Alzheimer's research.
Giants fan Terry Raymond found a fun way to raise money for his dear friend Pam Montana, who is battling early onset Alzheimer's disease. The idea, $100 for every home run Mike Yastrzemski hit this season.
"Pam and I have always shared our love of the Giants, so we've always had that. This year, I really wanted to do something a little more unique," said Terry Raymond. That donation would soon be matched by Pam's husband Bob.
"It was Terry's wonderful idea and I thought shoot, I can't let him have all the fun," said Pam's husband Bob Linscheid. "So, I said 'you know, I'll match it.'"
Pam, who was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's five years ago, says the donation kept growing and gaining attention with each home run.
"We kind of just kept on with it and some of the press heard about it, the Alzheimer's Association heard about it and it kind of just developed," said Pam Montana.
With every baseball Yaz hit out of the park, $200 dollars was being raised to find a cure. During the final week of the regular season, I made Mike aware of this amazing story.
"It's super cool. The fact that there are people out there willing to make incredible, charitable donations on their own for something that's been going on during our games is super cool," said Yastrzemski. "Probably find a way to get in touch with them and thank them, either thank them or figure out how to help or something like that."
Just days later, that meeting was put into motion when the Giants organization set up a special pregame meeting ahead of a night game against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
"Sorry this makes me emotional, the woman I had lunch with said, 'do you remember your wish?' I said, 'Yeah.' She said 'he's here.' I was just like what," said Montana. "He (Yastrzemski) couldn't have been more gracious, more kind or I don't know, he was just wonderful."
Just days after meeting Montana, I caught up with the Giants outfielder on the day the team clinched the NL West title to ask about that meeting earlier in the week.
"It was incredible to be able to just meet them and experience a slight little bit of their life and what's going on was really special to me," said Yastrzemski. "It made it more memorable for hopefully every home run that I hit from here on out."
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