Baseball’s First Pitch Classic to feature Dale Murphy

Mercer University is hosting its fifth annual First Pitch Classic on Feb. 13.
The First Pitch Classic is an event held by Mercer as a kick-off for the baseball team’s season. The event will be held in the University Center.
Coach Craig Gibson has announced that the featured speaker for this year’s event will be Dale Murphy. Murphy is a former outfielder for the Atlanta Braves. He is the fourth player from the Atlanta Braves to speak at the Classic. Murphy played 18 Years in the Major Leagues. Murphy’s number was retired in 1994; he is one of nine Braves players to receive this honor.
Gibson hopes that the Classic will bring awareness to the spring season, especially the spring sports. He also hopes that the event will show Mercer University in a positive light.
“I hope that people visit and see what Mercer is about.” Gibson said.
In addition to guests from outside Mercer, Gibson wants to see a strong Mercer support for the event.
He hopes Mercer professors and students will come out to support the Classic.
The First Pitch Classic will include a dinner at 7:00 PM on the arena floor. At the dinner, senior baseball players will be introduced. After brief introductions, featured speaker Murphy will discuss his journey to baseball. After his talk, the floor will be opened to those attending the dinner to ask Murphy questions.
Before the dinner, there will be an autograph session in the Presidents Dining Room. The autograph session will begin at 6:00. Participants can bring memorabilia to have autographed and have their picture taken with Murphy.
Murphy is not the first featured speaker at The First Pitch Classic, and he joins three other Atlanta Braves players to serve as guest speakers. Previous Braves First Pitch Classic speakers include Chipper Jones, John Smoltz and Jeff Francoeur.
“These are some really Hall of Fame league guys,” Gibson said.
The dinner and autograph session will be treated as two separate events and tickets will be sold separately. Tickets to the dinner cost $75 and tickets to the autograph session cost $50.
Gibson has even offered a reduced price for students, if need be. Only 100 participants will be able to attend the autograph session.
Proceeds from both events will benefit the Baseball Team. Mercer Occupational Medicine is the sponsor of the banquet.
Gibson hopes there will be a great turnout for this event with lots of students, staff, and community members. If interested in attending the First Pitch Classic, please contact Mercer Baseball Volunteer Assistant Coach Ben Gillespie, at (478) 301-2738 or at [email protected]