Two Northwest Florida baseball players who made a name for themselves in the big leagues were honored with a special donation last night.
Philanthropists Quint and Rishy Studer made separate, $5,000 donations in the names of Buck Showalter and Don Sutton.
Quint Studer made the announcement at the City of Champions event at the Pensacola Bay Center.
The Studers are donating $5,000 to Pensacola State College for a GED completion scholarship fund in Showalter’s name. Century Mayor Freddie McCall is matching those funds for a combined total of $10,000.
Pensacola State College has a campus in Century, offering a variety of courses including high school equivalency programs. Haas Center Co-Director Brice Harris, who helped put together an economic development plan for the town, says about 35 percent of Century’s 1,700 residents do not have a high school diploma or a GED.
The Studers are also sponsoring a $25,000 business challenge in Century to help create jobs.
“We’re excited about the Century business challenge,” said Quint Studer. “What we’ve found when looking at Century is one of the greatest challenges of Century is that people don’t graduate high school or get a GED So, on behalf of Rishy and me, we’re donating $5,000. The town of Century is matching that with $5,000. So, Buck, in your name, there’s a $10,000 fund at PSC for students to get their G.E.D.”
Former professional baseball player and one-time Century resident William “Buck” Showalter III moved to Century when he was a boy and grew up in the rural town. His father William Showalter II, was a teacher and principal at Century High School, where his now famous son graduated.
Buck Showalter III went on to become a professional baseball player and television analyst for ESPN. The 58-year-old is also an American Major League Baseball manager for the Baltimore Orioles and is also a three-time American League Manager of the Year.
The Studers also donated $5,000 to Tate High School on behalf of Don Sutton.
Originally from Alabama, Sutton’s family moved to Molino when he was young. Sutton attended Tate and led the school’s baseball team to two state championship finals before graduating in 1963. A few years later he was signed by the Los Angeles Dodgers.
In the majors, Sutton played 23 years for the Los Angeles Dodgers, Houston Astros, Milwaukee Brewers, Oakland Athletics, and California Angels. He won a total of 324 games and was inducted into the baseball Hall of Fame in 1998. Sutton also went into broadcasting after he retired as a player.
Caption: Quint Studer announces separate educational donations in the names of former professional baseball players Buck Showalter and Don Sutton. Century Mayor Freddie McCall joined them on stage. The town is making a matching donation to the Showalter scholarship.