SANTA CLARA, Calif. - On the final day of the fifth annual Jack Gifford Memorial Baseball Tournament, Rhodine Gifford, the wife of the late John F. (Jack) Gifford, will throw out the ceremonial first pitch for the 11 a.m. game between Santa Clara and Washington at Stephen Schott Stadium.
Mr. Gifford, a 1963 graduate of UCLA and CEO of Maxim Integrated Products, was an avid baseball fan and a long-time, generous supporter of several college baseball programs. For years, his donations aided the baseball teams at San Jose State University, Santa Clara University, Stanford University, the University of California, and his alma mater, UCLA. Those contributions funded equipment, uniforms, facilities, travel and everything in between.
His love for the game goes back to his college days, when Mr. Gifford attended UCLA on a baseball scholarship. He and his wife's names adorn the Jack and Rhodine Gifford Hitting Facility at UCLA, which was completed ahead of the 2009 season.
Mr. Gifford started his career in the semiconductor industry with Fairchild Semiconductor in 1964 at the age of 24. He went on to co-found Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), run Intersil, and serve as the CEO of Maxim Integrated Products — headquartered in Sunnyvale, Calif. — from 1983-2007. He is considered one of the founding fathers of the analog microchip industry.
While serving as CEO of Maxim, Mr. Gifford provided internships for several Bay Area collegiate baseball student-athletes. Over the years, dozens of them played for his summer baseball team, the Maxim Yankees. The final edition of the Maxim squad went 5-2 at the National Baseball Congress World Series in Wichita, Kan., in August of 2008. Mr. Gifford served as the club's general manager.