Hometown Hero: Robert Baker

By Tim Guidera - bio | email

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - It takes Robert Baker's rare organization skills to put together his All-Star Golf Tournament and Sports Clinic every year.

It takes his even more unique compassion to want to.

"He is a wonderful man, very, very passionate,'' said Atlanta Falcons head coach Mike Smith, who was in town for Baker's event Friday. And he is passionate about the Bethesda Boys School.''

That's who benefits from this annual event.

But we can all be enriched by Baker's effort, by seeing someone who grew up in a home for boys use his professional success and personal contacts to help kids in the same situation.

"There are probably six or seven kids from Bethesda since we started the program playing college sports,'' said Baker. "We've updated the football field, upgraded the baseball field and we're getting ready to do the gym project.''

But the impact has gone far beyond sports.

"It's a tremendous lesson for the boys because our kids, like all kids, need encouragement,'' said David Tribble, President of the Bethesda School. "And they need role models and they need somebody they can look at and say he's been where I've been and look where he is today.''

Where Baker has been every spring for the last 10 years is in the middle of a collection of stars from all sports that keeps growing in size and stature.

And keeps donating time to help kids on the field and off.

"I think it's going to be great for the kids to learn from the coaches and some former players,'' said Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan. "To just get out there and have fun with them, pick up a couple of different things.''

"People,'' added Baker, "want to be around them and shake their hand and spend time with them and find out they're just normal guys who care about others and want to help.''

Baker's camp has proven that, which is why in this group of sports stars, he's the real hero, a WTOC Hometown Hero.

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