The event was supposed to be fun and relaxing, a chance for current and former athletes to mingle while raising money for charity. But with spreading wildfires encroaching on the Mayacama Golf Club in Santa Rosa, California, where the University of California San Francisco Medical Center had planned to hold its Celebrity Golf Classic on Monday, cheers turned to fears as athletes scrambled to flee the premises the night before.

“It was a crazy, surreal night,” former Rockies pitcher Bret Saberhagen told the San Francisco Chronicle on Monday. “I was out on the balcony at Mayacama when the power went out and sat down, and saw the moon come up, it was very nice. And then I saw the moon turn orange and it started getting lighter and lighter. I saw the fire coming over the ridge and I could hear propane and gas tanks popping.”

Saberhagen was one of several former baseball players at the event, along with Barry Bonds, Eric Gagne and Joe Carter. Olympic speed skating champion Dan Jansen was also there, as was UFC fighter Henry Cejudo, who had one of the more harrowing nights.

After relocating to the Fountaingrove Inn, which would also succumb to the flames, Cejudo escaped with only the pants on his legs.

“I’m just happy to be alive,” Cejudo, who wrestled at Coronado High School in Colorado Springs and later won a gold medal for wrestling at the 2008 Olympics, told Yahoo Sports on Tuesday.

Wearing only a black pair of pants, and no shoes or shirt, Cejudo jumped off his second-story balcony in the early hours of Monday morning after sleeping through fire alarms and other efforts to get guests to leave. By that time, the fire had reached the inn.

“As I jumped off, I landed on a branch that was on fire. Honestly, there …read more

Source:: The Denver Post – Sports

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