Athletics, Giants Join Piscotty for Virtual Beer, Wine & Whiskey Tasting This Weekend

John Hickey

Stephen Piscotty never considered himself to be a front-line warrior or a crusader, but all that changed when his mother, Gretchen, contracted ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, better known as Lou Gehrig’s disease) and died at 55 in 2018.

The Oakland A’s right fielder and his father, Mike, have been deeply involved in the fight against ALS, and with the A’s hosting the San Francisco Giants for three games this weekend, they’ve enlisted the help of the Giants organization for a three-day virtual beer-wine-whiskey tasting fundraiser for their ALS Cure Project.

In normal times, the main fundraiser for the project would probably be a golf tournament involving both the A’s and Giants. San Francisco shortstop Brandon Crawford had just such a tournament this spring in Arizona with a large chunk of the funds raised going to the project. But that was pre-pandemic, and these are not normal times. No golf, then.

“It’s kind of a new thing in this pandemic era,’ Piscotty said Wednesday morning. “The idea got floated around and it seemed like something that was workable and doable after we had a couple of things we’d planned got canceled.

“This is very personal; it’s something my dad has taken on and I’m trying to do everything I can to support and promote the work he’s doing. We’ve already funded a couple of research projects, and we feel really good about that. ALS gets overlooked because of how rare it is, but the fact of how brutal it is after watching it unfold in front of me is extra motivation. I feel my mom would be proud of us.”

The schedule calls for virtual tastings of beer before Friday’s game, a wine tasting after Saturday’s game and a whiskey tasting. How does a virtual tasting work? Participants will be invited to go online at ALSCURE.NET/ALSBAY and purchase beer, wine or whiskey packages that can be delivered before the event starts.

Short of that, orders can be picked up by Thursday at Cellar Door in Pleasanton or Beer Baron in Oakland.

There will also be live and silent auctions of sports memorabilia over the course of the three days, all of it viewable at the same ALS Cure website.

Piscotty, a fancier of good wine, will take part in the wine tasting Saturday along with former Giants’ pitcher Jeremy Affeldt along with winemaker Eric Wente. The Friday beer tasting will match Mike Piscotty with A’s announcer Ray Fosse, and Sunday’s whiskey event with former Giants’ pitcher Dave Dravecky and A’s radio voice Vince Cotroneo.

More information and the full schedule and list of participating organizations can be obtained at ALSCURE.NET/ALSBAY

Follow Athletics insider John Hickey on Twitter: @JHickey3

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