Friends, By Paul Hamm

ZHammphotoFriends. They say you can’t have too many friends. Of all the things “they” say, this may be the statement I believe in the most. Being the father of a special needs son, I’ve learned a lot about friendship. My son is affected by a rare syndrome known as Ectodermal Dysplasias. Each year my wife and I, along with our son, Zach, host a golf tournament, Zach Hamm’s Don’t Sweat it Golf Classic, to raise awareness and money for the National Foundation for Ectodermal Dysplasias (NFED). Our event has become wildly successful over the past four years. Why? Friends. One such dear friend is a man that was introduced to me by, you guessed it, another dear friend. I met Bill Brown on the golf course. I was introduced to Bill by one of my most supportive and best friends, Derwin Perkins. Derwin knew Bill and I had a lot in common. We are both fathers. We both have a love for baseball, I’m an old baseball player and Bill is a TV Broadcaster for the Houston Astros. We both have a strong faith. We both love to play golf and we both host golf tournaments to help charities that we believe in. We became fast friends as can happen with people that share a lot in common. Bill also grew to be fond of Zach and my wife Susan. In fact, our families are now very close. Bill has seen many things over his 30 plus years in broadcasting that have inspired him. He has also has met many people that have inspired him. Bill has made a million friends. One of those people is my son, Zach. Bill was moved by Zach’s courage, determination and knack for putting other people first. To Quote Bill, “Zach is go-getter and a do gooder.” In spite of making donations of his time, fame and money to Zach’s annual Don’t Sweat it Golf Classic Bill felt a need to do more for Zach and his efforts to help kids affected by Ectodermal Dysplasias. As good friends do, Bill wracked his brain on ways he could help. He quickly landed upon an idea. He would write a book about the people and events that have inspired him throughout his career. The book “My Baseball Journey” was born. Bill decided not only to dedicate his book to Zach but that he would donate all proceeds to Zach’s beloved charity the NFED. Zach is pictured on the front cover with Bill and also on the back cover with Bill and Houston Astros legend Craig Biggio. The book is twenty seven chapters of compelling, inspiring and moving stories. Zach’s story is chapter 26. Biggio wrote the forward. Biggio is also Zach’s boss but you’ll have to buy the book to get that story. Bill and Zach have become quite a team spending what little time Bill has off from broadcasting this summer to do book signing events, media appearances and interviews. Through his actions Bill has taught my son humility, caring, patience, kindness and generosity. Bill has also brought much needed awareness and funds to the NFED. Why did he do all of this? Because Bill is a friend. Friends can become so close that they blur the line between family and friends. Bill is one such friend. And you can never have too many friends.

 For more information on Bill’s book, “My Baseball Journey” please go to To learn more about Zach please go to  To learn more about Ectodermal Dysplasias please go to All proceeds from My Baseball Journey and ZachHamm’s Don’t Sweat it Golf Classic go directly to the National Foundation for Ectodermal Dysplasias.

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