Rollie Fingers, John Mang to Headline 2019 YSU Baseball First Pitch Breakfast

Photo Sources: Associated Press, 1973 | Greg Wohlford, Erie Times-News
Photo Sources: Associated Press, 1973 | Greg Wohlford, Erie Times-News

Three-time World Series champion and National Baseball Hall of Fame inductee Rollie Fingers will be the featured speaker at the 2019 Youngstown State Baseball First Pitch Breakfast, which will be held Saturday, Feb. 9, at The Embassy in Boardman. He will be joined by Austintown Fitch High School graduate and current Minor League Baseball umpire John Mang.

The event will also provide fans the opportunity to meet the 2019 Penguins baseball squad, enjoy a breakfast buffet and bid in live and silent auctions on an impressive lineup of Major League Baseball memorabilia, unique baseball experiences and YSU baseball gear. A breakfast ticket will also provide entrance into a pull raffle, which will be for two different grand prizes. The first prize will be an autographed bat, signed by the 2019 YSU baseball team. The second prize will be four 2019 season tickets for Youngstown State baseball home games. All attendees will also receive a ticket voucher good for any remaining 2019 YSU regular season home basketball game.

General admission tickets are $25 apiece, and reserved seats are $35 each. Corporate and family tables are also available for $550 and include 10 breakfast/raffle tickets, premium seating at the First Pitch Breakfast, sponsor recognition on YSUsports.com and two guests to join the speakers and the YSU baseball staff for dinner on Friday, Feb. 8, at Michael Alberini's in Boardman.

Premium Reserved tables are also available for $350, which will guarantee priority seating for 10 people to hear both speakers share their experiences. Doors will open at 8:00 a.m. with the buffet beginning at 8:30 and the program commencing at 9.

Fingers, born in Steubenville, Ohio, and known for his trademark handlebar mustache, played 17 seasons in the MLB for the Oakland Athletics, San Diego Padres and Milwaukee Brewers. He was named the American League MVP and Cy Young Award winner with the Brewers in 1981. He finished his career as the all-time leader in career saves with 341, a mark that has since been broken.

Fingers led the league in games pitched twice and finished in the top ten in the league in saves seven times during his nine-year stint with the Athletics. He won three World Series titles with Oakland from 1972-74 and was the MVP in 1974, earning a win and two saves over four games. Fingers won or saved eight of Oakland's 12 World Series victories during their three-year championship run.

The seven-time All-Star joined the San Diego Padres following the 1976 season and led the league in saves in each of his first two seasons. In 1978, Fingers posted 37 saves and tied the National League record. After being traded to the Milwaukee Brewers, he led the American League in saves in 1981. After finishing his career with 114 wins, a record 341 saves, 1,299 strikeouts, a 2.90 ERA and 1,701 innings pitched in 944 games, Fingers was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1992.

Mang, a valley native and graduate of Austintown Fitch High School, recently completed his sixth season as a Minor League Baseball umpire. He has spent the past three years in the Class AA Eastern League and the last two as crew chief. He started his umpiring career in the New York-Penn League in 2013, was promoted to the Midwest League in 2014 and assigned to the Florida State League in 2015. Mang continues a rich local umpiring tradition that includes fellow Austintown natives, Brian O'Nora and the late Wally Bell, as well as Poland's John Hirschbeck and Salem's Jerry Meals who have umpired at baseball's highest level.

Mang was one of four Class AA umpires selected to work three high-profile events at MLB All-Star Weekend this past July. He was behind home plate during the T-Mobile Home Run Derby at Washington Nationals Park on July 16. He also worked the MLB All-Star Futures game and the All-Star Legends and Celebrity Softball game. Mang played collegiately at Mercyhurst University, where he was a teammate of YSU Head Coach Dan Bertolini. He set the school's single-season record for wins with 10 in 2009, and also spent two seasons as an assistant coach with the Lakers. Mang's father John was inducted into the OHSAA Officials Hall of Fame in 2009.

Tickets will be on sale at the Beeghly Center merchandise booth during YSU men's and women's basketball games. Other tickets can be arranged and questions can be answered by Youngstown State assistant coach Shane Davis at the YSU baseball office. Coach Davis can be reached by email at ssdavis@ysu.edu or by phone at (330) 207-4535.

The Embassy is located at 5030 Youngstown-Poland Road in Boardman.