First Pitch Banquet Set For February 1st
Tickets can be purchased on the day of the event for $17 at the Palmeiro Center front entrance. Advanced tickets, which cost $12 and will be available at the MSU Ticket Office and HailState.com, go on sale in early January. For additional information, contact the MSU Baseball Office at (662) 325-2600.
This season's festivities start at 11:30 a.m. in the Griffis Boardroom with a hamburger/hot dog lunch, as well as an autograph session with members of the 2014 ballclub in the adjoining Palmeiro Center. The First Pitch program, emceed by head coach John Cohen, follows at 12:45 p.m. and features a formal introduction of the Diamond Dawgs and staff as well as a speaking appearance by the guest of honor, whose name will be announced in early January.
Previous First Pitch speakers read like a who's who of Bulldog baseball history. Last year, Major League Baseball player Tyler Moore joined a group which includes Jeff Brantley, Will Clark, Dave "Boo" Ferriss, Dave Klipstein, Alex Grammas, Paul Maholm, Burke Masters, Joel Matthews, Mitch Moreland, Jonathan Papelbon, Jay Powell, Jim Robinson, Nat Showalter, Bobby Thigpen and Cohen.
Best-selling author and MSU alumnus John Grisham and MLB Hall of Famer Tommy Lasorda, the longtime manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers, have also served in the guest speaker role.
Following the guest speaker, fans can stroll over to Dudy Noble Field for a 2:15 p.m. intrasquad scrimmage. The seven-inning affair, which will be open to the public, will act as an Opening Day dress rehearsal and will conclude fan day.
State, which was ranked No. 2 in last week’s Collegiate Baseball preseason poll, begins its 124th season with a 4 p.m. Opening Day lid-lifter against Hofstra at 4 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 14. For more information on the event, follow the team on social media by searching for “HailStateBB” on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. All-Access coverage of the program can also be found on FanCred.