Like almost all events, the Roger Maris golf tournament went into hibernation last summer as a result of the pandemic. There was no deep sleep in the time off, however; it’s returning this month bigger and bolder than ever.
It’s now the Roger Maris All-Star Week June 14-18 and it’s more than golf. It will include youth camps, a community event at Island Park in Fargo and a Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks throwback game, where the Hawks will wear replica jerseys of the 1950 Fargo-Moorhead Twins — the year Roger Maris played with the club.
The significance of it all includes the first public-wide community extravaganza with no restrictions since the pandemic shut down life in general last spring. Joel Vettel, head of strategic and community partnerships for Sanford Health, said Sanford’s medical experts “feel very comfortable that this event will not only be unbelievably fun and a great event but it will be safe.”
“We’ve been very careful but we recognize it’s time to move on to the next phase of being done with some things from the last year,” he said. “I think people are truly ready for a bigger event and we’re the first one out of the chute.”
Sanford is the primary go-getter for the week and the planning has been three years in the making. Vettel said the object through the Maris family is to find the next chapter in the Roger Maris legacy and that includes a focus on the Sanford Roger Maris Cancer Center and the people who make a difference at the facility.
It promises to be a mix of traditional and non-traditional from the previous 36 Maris tournaments. The standard 18-hole Roger Maris Celebrity Golf Tournament will have two tee times at Rose Creek Golf Course on Thursday, June 17. Celebrities committed include Minnesota Vikings running back C.J. Ham and former Vikings players Chad Greenway and Kyle Rudolph, former professional wrestling champion Brock Lesnar, former North Dakota State standout Kyle Emanuel, former United States Olympic women’s hockey player Gigi Marvin and homegrown NHL star Matt Cullen. Lesnar will not be golfing but will be participating in other ways.
New to the golfing menu is a nine-hole scramble on Thursday morning at Osgood Golf Course in southwest Fargo.
“That one is a different take than we’ve traditionally seen,” Vettel said. “It will be more relaxed, maybe less competitive but a lot of fun. That’s why we did it, we want people of all levels of golf to be comfortable.”
The week is aimed at people of all levels, period. Youth camps not only include baseball but football, basketball, soccer and hockey. All are free and kids can be signed up at the website rogermarisweek.com.
“High school coaches, college coaches, club coaches and NHL stars will be at our clinics,” Vettel said. “You’ll see folks of all walks of life participating, which is great. We said early on that we want no barriers to the clinics. We want people who normally wouldn’t have an opportunity to be able to go to a clinic.”
Sanford is working with the Fargo Police Department to help identify kids who normally wouldn’t have a chance to attend a clinic to be able to do so.
Vettel said every dollar raised goes to the charities. Sanford is footing the bill for expenses. The Roger Maris Summer Night on Thursday at Island Park will feature a variety of entertainment options.
“Something for everybody, old or young or rich or poor, we want people to be included,” he said.
Roger Maris All-Star Week schedule
Monday, June 14
Football Youth Clinics grades 1-3, 10 a.m.-noon, Shanley High School
Football Youth Clinics grades 4-6, 12-2 p.m., Shanley High School
Tuesday, June 15
Baseball Youth Clinics, grades 3-4, option 1, 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Longfellow Park
Baseball Youth Clinics, grades 3-4, option 2, 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Lindenwood Park
Baseball Youth Clinics, grades 5-6, 1-2:30 p.m., Lindenwood Park
Basketball Girls Clinic, grades 4-6, 8:30-10:30 a.m., Carl Ben Eielson Middle School
Basketball Boys Clinic, grades 4-6, 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Carl Ben Eielson Middle School
Soccer Youth Clinics, grades 4-6, option 1, 10-11 a.m., Scheels Soccer Complex
Wednesday, June 16
Soccer Youth Clinics, grades 4-6, option 2, 10-11 a.m., Scheels Soccer Complex
Thursday, June 17
Roger Maris Celebrity Golf Tournament, 7:45 a.m. and 1:15 p.m., Rose Creek
Roger Maris 9-hole scramble, 9 a.m., Osgood
Roger Maris Summer Night, 5:30-9 p.m., Island Park, Fargo
Friday, June 18
Hockey Youth Clinics, grades 4-6, option 1, 9:30-11 a.m., Matt Cullen Hockey Center
Hockey Youth Clinics, grades 4-6, option 2, 10-11:30 a.m., Matt Cullen Hockey Center
Throwback game, Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks vs. Sioux Falls Canaries, Newman Outdoor Field, 7 p.m.