When he closed games for the Seattle Mariners from 2004-2006, Eddie Guardado was serious enough to save 59 games while - off the field - terrorizing teammates with a penchant for practical jokes.
Now retired, the affable lefty and wife Lisa have a new cause: autism. It's one that hits close to home, because their daughter Ava was diagnosed with it in 2007.
Living in Southern California, the Guardados have established a foundation with a more immediate goal than finding a cure.
"These kids can't wait 10 years for the research. We have to use what works now ... the earlier the better," Guardado told Teryl Zarnow of the Orange County Register.
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The Guardados donated $27,000 to buy i-Pads for families with autistic children, and have organized a Stars & Strikes celebrity bowling tournament Jan. 29 with men like Adrian Beltre, J.J. Putz, Jamie Moyer Eric Chavez, Torii Hunter, Vernon Wells, Michael Young and dozens of others participating.
"The people we ask are good ball players and good human beings."
It helps to know whom you're asking."What kind of person are they? They could be well known, but at your bowling event they could be an idiot," Guardado said about the All-Star cast. As for why he's doing it: "We want to put hope into people's hearts."