The Sports Museum will hold its 20th annual fundraising gala, The Tradition, will honor Mike Milbury (Bruins), David Ortiz (Red Sox), Kevin McHale (Celtics), Angela Ruggiero (US Women’s Hockey), Ben Coates (Patriots), and Taylor Twellman (Revolution). Guests will enjoy a cocktail reception and a ‘talk-show’ style presentation on Wednesday, December 8 at 6:00pm on the arena floor at TD Garden. Tickets ($350) for this unique fundraiser benefiting The Sports Museum, are available for purchase at www.sportsmuseum.org/events/the-tradition. A ticket to this event provides financial support to one of the longest running sports museums in the country, as well as the educational programs that The Sports Museum provides to at-risk kids in our community. The event also offers a once in a lifetime experience to mingle with some of New England’s most legendary athletes and industry leaders. During the ceremony, honorees share career highlights and anecdotal stories that give fans a glimpse into the lives of these living legends. Honorees include:
Mike Milbury – Mike logged a remarkable 35-year hockey career as a player, coach and general manager. Milbury played 754 NHL regular season games and additional 111 in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, earning 1,552 minutes in penalties, second only to Terry O’Reilly’s club record 2,095. He had 49 goals and 189 assists in the regular season, 4 goals, 24 assists and 219 penalty minutes over his playoff career. Milbury ranks 12th all-time in games played for the Bruins. Following his playing career, Milbury became head coach of the Bruins’ AHL affiliate in Maine in 1987, and was promoted to head coach and assistant general manager of the Bruins in 1989. His career includes being named head coach at Boston College in March, 1994, leaving in early June, 1994, due to philosophical differences. He was named head coach and general manager of the New York Islanders 1995. Milbury followed up his stint with the Islanders by becoming a studio analyst for NESN, NBC, TSN, plus a contract with CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada in 2008. He was also a color commentator for “NHL on NBC,” for 14 years, leaving that position in 2021.
David Ortiz – Ortiz came to the Boston Red Sox via a trade with the Minnesota Twins in 2003. He hit 31 home runs that season. The following season 2004, Ortiz became known for his clutch hitting. He hit two walk-off home runs in the postseason. His first was when the Red Sox swept the Anaheim Angels in the American League Division Series. The Red Sox went on to win their first World Series since 1918. They won two more World Series championships in 2007 and 2013. Ortiz retired after the 2016 season.
Kevin McHale – A three-time NBA champion, McHale played 13 season with the Boston Celtics. Twice voted NBA Sixth Man of the Year while wearing #32 for the Celtics, and was later retired. His achievements along with the three championships includes being chosen to 50 Greatest Player in NBA History team, seven-time All-Star, and three-time NBA All Defensive First Team.
Angela Ruggiero – A four-time Olympic medalist, Ruggiero was a force on the blue line throughout her 15-plus-year career with the U.S. Women’s National Team, and played more games (256) in a Team USA uniform than any other ice hockey player in the country’s history. Ruggiero helped the U.S. claim the first-ever gold medal awarded in women’s ice hockey in the Olympic Winter Games in 1998, and went on to win three other Olympic medals. Ruggiero played four seasons at Harvard University, and was awarded the Patty Kazmaier Memorial Trophy in 2004 (top women’s ice hockey player in the NCAA),before retiring from the U.S. Women’s National Team in December of 2011.
Taylor Twellman – Twellman played eight professional seasons for the New England Revolution, and was one of Major League Soccer’s most prolific forwards before his career was prematurely cut short after suffering from multiple concussions. Twellman scored 101 goals in 174 matches for the Revolution. He led the league in goals scored with 17, and won the league MVP. Since his career-ending injury, Twellman has dedicated himself to generating awareness about the dangers of concussions and head injuries, particularly in soccer.
Ben Coates – played in 142 games over nine seasons as a Patriot. Entering the 2010 season, Coates was third all-time in team history in receptions (490), fourth in receiving yards (5,471) and second in receiving touchdowns (50) – all tops among tight ends in Patriots annals. In 1994, Coates held the franchise record for receptions by a tight end. He also led the team in touchdown receptions for six straight seasons between 1993 and 1998 and led the team in overall receptions five times. Coates was named to the Patriots Team of the Century in 2000. Coates was quarterback Drew Bledsoe’s go-to receiver throughout his career and became a fan favorite for his dependability, toughness and performance. He was inducted into the Patriots Hall of Fame in 2008. Coates won the Super Bowl while playing with the Baltimore Ravens in 2000.