Wade Boggs, Dave Rimington to fish the 14th Mercury Outboards S.L.A.M. in Key West

Celebrity fishing tournament raises funds

for cystic fibrosis research 

 

KEY WEST, Florida Keys – Baseball superstar Wade Boggs and Dave Rimington, one of the most decorated players in collegiate football history, will compete in the 14th Mercury Outboards Southernmost Light-Tackle Anglers Masters (S.L.A.M.) celebrity fishing tournament, Friday through Sunday, to raise raise money for the fight against cystic fibrosis.

            The S.L.A.M. targets the "Big-Three" game fish of the Florida flats – tarpon, permit and bonefish. Catching all three on the same day is known as a "flats grand slam." The popular tournament also kicks off the fall trilogy of Mercury Outboards' Redbone celebrity angling challenges in the Florida Keys, all benefiting cystic fibrosis research. In its 16 years, the tournament series has contributed more than $5 million to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. It has also grown to 24 events internationally.

            “I had a great time fishing last month in the Mercury Redbone@Large at Little Palm Island,” said Boggs, a 3010-hit slugger and lock for baseball’s Hall of Fame. “Plus when I heard Mike Stanley (fellow teammate with the New York Yankees) and former boss Chuck LaMar (GM of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays) were also entered in the Mercury S.L.A.M., the competitive juices started flowing again," he said laughing. "Mike and Chuck are both excellent anglers and former Redbone celebrity division winners. This tournament turns into a test of skill and ability."

            Rimington was a standout back-to-back winner of the NCAA’s Outland Trophy, plus the Lombardi Trophy and multiple All-America and Academic All-America honors as center for the powerful Nebraska football team of the early 1980s. He was also a stalwart lineman for the Cincinnati Bengals, fronting quarterback Boomer Esiason. Rimington is now president of the Boomer Esiason Foundation, which also creates awareness and research efforts for CF.  

            At the S.L.A.M., Boggs and Rimington will join Stanley and LaMar, along with NASA space shuttle astronaut Bruce Melnick (Endeavor and Discovery shuttle missions); football great Mark Cooper, who played for the Denver Broncos and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers; Jon Geisler of the Miami Dolphins; and National Basketball Association veteran Frank Brickowski.

            Prizes of original artwork will be awarded to the S.L.A.M.'s top anglers and teams in the general, spin and fly divisions. Awards also will be presented for the largest fish caught and released in each target species and the largest number of fish released in each species.

            In addition, the tournament's grand champion angler will receive a Rolex watch. The grand champion, the top female angler and the top celebrity angler will qualify to participate in the 2004 Rolex/International Game Fish Association Inshore Championship Tournament in the Florida Keys.

            The S.L.A.M.'s  field is almost sold out, with nearly 45 boats for two days of guided fishing with a celebrity or for a team of two anglers and access to all tournament social functions. Additional tickets to all social functions are available at $125 per person.

            The Seamaster Superfly, a one-day, one-fly tournament, precedes the S.L.A.M. with registration at 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 4, at the Conch Republic Seafood Co., 631 Greene St., and fishing Friday, Sept. 5, from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. A 5 p.m. awards ceremony follows at the Conch Republic Seafood Co.

            Registration for the S.L.A.M. is slated for Friday, 2- 6 p.m. in the ballroom of the Wyndham Casa Marina Resort, 1500 Reynolds St. Registration will be followed by a cocktail reception, rules meeting for anglers and guides, kickoff dinner and live auction. Fishing is set for 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 6, and 6:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 7. The awards banquet is scheduled for 8 p.m. Sunday at the Wyndham Casa Marina.

            The public can meet the celebrity anglers 3- 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at the Conch Republic Seafood Co. Also open to the public is the tournament's silent auction at the Wyndham Casa Marina. Auction items can be viewed 2-6 p.m. Friday, Sept. 5, and 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 6, with an auction cocktail party at 5 p.m. Saturday. Bidding closes at 7:30 p.m.

            Platinum Plus sponsors of the Mercury Outboards-title sponsored Redbone series include Rich Products, Robert-James Sales, Actioncraft Boats, the Boomer Esiason Foundation, Hell’s Bay Boat Works, Florida Keys fishing guides, Redbone Rods and Rolex.  Platinum sponsors include Cheeca Lodge, Seamaster Reels, American Specialties, Dowco, Wyndham Casa Marina and Greenfield Automotive.

            For more information about the S.L.A.M. and tournament registration forms, or for information about the Mercury Outboards Redbone Celebrity Tournament Series, call 305-664-2002.

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