Foundation’s Dorothy & Charlie Root Scholarship

A new scholarship being awarded this year from the Hazel Hawkins Hospital Foundation is the Dorothy & Charlie Root Scholarship. Kathy Root Hart and the Root Family donated the funds in memory of their grandmother, Dorothy, who was a very active volunteer at the hospital. She was the wife of Charlie Root, the famed baseball player who threw the pitch that Babe Ruth allegedly predicted he would hit into the seats in the 1932 World Series at Wrigley Field in Chicago. This scholarship may be dedicated to students in sports medicine or kinesiology.

The funds were originally used to support Babe Ruth Baseball and were raised through the Charlie Root Memorial Golf Tournament started in 1972. It was a celebrity tournament with quite a few notable athletes and celebrities participating, including Bobby Bonds, Don Larsen (only pitcher to throw a perfect game in the World Series), Norb Hecker, assistant coach for the 49ers when Walsh was head coach. Later the funds were transferred to the San Benito High School Scholarship Program to be awarded to a star athlete playing baseball or softball.

A notable recipient of the Charlie Root Scholarship in 2013 is Conner Menez who played on the San Francisco Giants Minor League AAA Sacramento River Cats. He was invited to participate in Spring Training in 2019 and was called up to play a couple of times in the majors during that season.

This year the family decided to honor both grandparents by transferring the funds to Hazel Hawkins Hospital Foundation Scholarship Program. Dorothy was just 9 when her mother died, and as the eldest daughter she was expected to run the family home while she also attended school. She and Charlie met and eloped in 1918 when they were 19 years old. In their later years, they lived on the family ranch in Paicines, but when Charlie died in 1970, Dorothy moved into town and became active in community service, including Hazel Hawkins Hospital. She started as a “Pink Lady” and her favorite activity was to go to the old Southside hospital to play the piano and sing for the residents. She started the thrift store, and organized the “White Elephant” section of the Hospital Auxiliary’s Holiday Bazaar for many years.

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