The sports memorabilia items that NMJC head baseball coach Jimmy Durham posted online for auction recently reflect two of his greatest passions: sports and honoring his wife’s memory. Durham lost his wife, Michele, to breast cancer 14 years ago. During her treatments in Houston, the nonprofit Angel Flight South Central helped the Durhams stay together, flying the entire family, including their five children, for free.
“It was an emotional time for all of us, and Angel Flight truly made it bearable,” says Durham. “The children felt safer being with their mom during those trips, and I will always be thankful to the organization for the help they gave my family.”
This month, Durham is auctioning off multiple items signed by famous baseball and football players, with all proceeds benefitting Angel Flight South Central. Auction items include:
an MLB baseball autographed by Roger Clemens, future MLB Hall of Famer, seven-time Cy Young award winner (most all time), 11-time MLB All Star, two-time World Series Champion, AL MVP (1986), MLB All Century Team, and Boston Red Sox Hall of Famer;
an MLB baseball autographed by Alex Bregman, Houston Astros infielder, World Series champion, and Albuquerque native;
a baseball bat autographed by Bregman;
an MLB baseball autographed by Blake Swihart, Boston Red Sox catcher and Albuquerque native;
an MLB baseball bat autographed by Chris Davis, Baltimore Orioles 1st baseman, two-time American League homerun champion, and two-time AL MVP candidate;
an MLB baseball autographed by Andy Pettitte, 18-year MLB veteran LHP, certain first ballot hall of famer, winningest playoff pitcher of all time, five-time Cy Young award candidate, two-time AL MVP candidate, and three-time MLB All-Star, whose New York Yankee number was retired;
an MLB baseball autographed by Woody Williams, 2003 MLB All-Star pitcher and former MLB World Champion;
two official autographed, framed, and matted action photos of 2018 NFL Hall of Fame inductee Brian Urlacher, a Lovington, NM, native and University of New Mexico alumnus;
two official NFL footballs autographed by Urlacher; and
two 2018 Texas Rangers tickets – dates to be determined by highest bidder.
The auction continues through midnight on November 23 (Black Friday) and can be found online at http://32auctions.com/nmjcplaypink18. The auction winners and other Play Pink donors will be recognized at half-time during the November 28 NMJC men’s basketball home game vs. Howard College (7:30 p.m. MST).
Each spring, Durham also dedicates one of NMJC’s double-header games to Angel Flight South Central (AFSC). Donations are encouraged at the games, and “Play Pink” t-shirts are sold to benefit AFSC as well. The 2019 game date has yet to be announced.
“We are so grateful for this support from Jimmy and the rest of the athletics department at NMJC,” said AFSC executive director Todd Quesnel. “So many of our passengers tell us how grateful they are for the services we provide, but Jimmy has really gone above and beyond.”