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After auctioning his guitar, Joe Walsh swings a big stick

Published Oct. 1, 2005

"I've told Joe Walsh to bring me a keyboard for my collection next year," quipped Robert Donaldson of St. Petersburg. Donaldson, and his wife, Lynn, co-owners of Econo-Blast, bid $2,000 for the Eagles' singer/guitarist's electric guitar at Baseball and the Blues _ fifth annual Baseball for Kids Party and Auction March 14 at the Tradewinds on St. Pete Beach. The Donaldsons bid the same amount last year for Walsh's acoustic guitar at the same event, which is sponsored by the Major League Baseball Players Association to benefit All Children's Hospital and the Children's Home Society. Though all the figures aren't in, the auction raised some $50,000. The Eagles' stock certainly must have soared since word came out last week that the band's 1976 album, Their Greatest Hits 1971-1975, has tied and is expected to surpass Michael Jackson's Thriller on the all-time U.S. sales list.

Toni and Pat Walsh of Tierra Verde bought an original pot created by Casey Sander, who plays Wade on TV's Grace Under Fire. Before his acting days, Sander played pro ball for the California Angels.

Joe Walsh joined other celebrities last weekend to play in the Legends of Baseball game at St. Petersburg's Al Lang Stadium.

Two of TV's most popular docs, Noah Wyle of ER and Mark Harmon of Chicago Hope, were among the stars who flew in from the West Coast to play in the game. Harmon's plane was late, so he had the chance to bat only once. (He hit a double.) Wyle played right field.

This little piggy

didn't go to market

James Cromwell, who last year was nominated for an Academy Award for his portrayal of the kindly Farmer Hoggett in the movie Babe, recently went whole hog over a Florida porker.

When the 4-H Club at Ocala's Hillcrest Public School for Exceptional Students took their pig, Dragon I, to market at the Southeast Youth Fair, they did it knowing the 245-pounder would be sold for slaughter, said principal Mike Barnett. But members of PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) had other plans for Dragon I and turned to Cromwell for help because of his movie role.

The pig was bought by Ocala businessman Brian Szkudlarek, who bid a record $4,900 for it. In turn, PETA asked to buy Dragon I with the money Cromwell contributed. Szkudlarek turned the pig over to PETA for $1,700, and at last report Dragon I was in hog heaven, living a charmed life at a Marion County animal sanctuary. The 4-H kids at Hillcrest are happy, too. The $4,900 will be used for special equipment in the computer department for physically impaired children.

As for Cromwell, he begins filming Babe 2 in August.

Capital game plan

Usually, Tallahassee is Seminoles country, but Thursday was a red-letter day for the orange and blue of the University of Florida. Steve Spurrier, coach of the national champion Florida Gators, and Heismann Trophy winner Danny Wuerffel were in the state capital to attend a leadership prayer breakfast. They also were guests of honor at a Florida Gator Day ceremony on the Senate floor.