Boston Sports Museum’s 12th annual “The Tradition”

September 17, 2013

Jack Nicklaus was the headliner on a night of who’s who among New England sporting legends during the Boston Sports Museum’s 12th annual “The Tradition” held Tuesday night at the TD Garden, home to the Boston Bruins and Celtics. The event, which is an annual fundraising event for The Sports Museum, drew more than 1,200 guests, who gathered to honor several prominent figures in Boston sports history, including Jack, who received the Lifetime Achievement Award. The Golden Bear was joined on the night by Boston College football icon and Heisman Trophy winner Doug Flutie (Football Legacy Award); former Red Sox catcher Carlton “Pudge” Fisk (Baseball Legacy Award), Olympic Gold Medal-winning gymnast and “Dancing With The Stars” contestant Aly Raisman (Gymnastics Legacy Award), the Boston Celtics ownership group (Basketball Legacy Award), former Bruins center Derek Sanderson (Hockey Legacy Award) and current Patriots defensive lineman Vince Wilfork (Community Service Award).

Each honoree was presented a medal by a long-time friend or someone who has impacted their career. It was only fitting that Jerry Jacobs, owner of the TD Garden and the Boston Bruins, and a member of The Bear’s Club—Jack’s home club in Florida—shared the stage with the Golden Bear.

The honor came on the eve of the Centennial Celebration of Francis Ouimet’s stunning U.S. Open victory Sept. 18-19, 1913, at The Country Club in Brookline, Mass. Flanked by a 10-year-old caddie who would become as much of the story as Ouimet himself, the 20-year-old amateur beat the world’s two best professionals—England’s Harry Vardon and Ted Ray—in an 18-hole playoff to win the US Open. The victory has been anointed as the true start to American golf.

So, at the end of the night’s program, when American golf’s greatest champion was introduced, all 1,200 in attendance came out of their seats for the event’s only standing ovation.