Hall-of-Fame catcher Johnny Bench and Youngstown State University president Jim Tressel will be the featured speakers at the 2015 YSU Baseball First Pitch Breakfast, coach Steve Gillispie excitedly announced.
The annual event to benefit the YSU baseball program will take place on Saturday, Jan. 17, 2015, at Blue Wolf Events at The Maronite Center on Meridian Road in Youngstown. In addition to the notable speakers, the event also offers fans the opportunity to meet the 2015 Penguins baseball squad, enjoy a breakfast buffet and bid on an impressive lineup of autographed Major League Baseball memorabilia and YSU baseball gear.
General admission tickets are $25 apiece, and reserved priority tables for groups of eight are available for $400. Corporate packages, which also includes two tickets for dinner with the speakers the night before, are available for $700.
"We are extremely fortunate to have arguably the best player to ever catch in the Major Leagues in Johnny Bench and someone so beloved in the YSU family in President Tressel agree to support our program," Gillispie said. "Our staff and players are excited, and I think the Youngstown community will be excited for the unique opportunity to have two legends speak at one event."
"We are also very thankful for Mitchell Joseph and West Coast Chill in helping us secure our speakers and creating an event that we think will be one of the great events in Penguin Baseball history."
Bench is frequently called the greatest catcher in baseball history. He finished his career as a two-time National League Most Valuable Player, a 14-time all-star and a two-time World Series champion. As a major catalyst in the Cincinnati Reds teams known as The Big Red Machine, he was also a 10-time Gold Glove award winner. Bench was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1989 in his first year of eligibility and has his number retired by the Reds. Bench has gone on to be a renowned inspirational and entertaining speaker.
Tressel became the ninth president of Youngstown State University on July 1, 2014, after serving as the executive vice president for student Success at the University of Akron. Tressel first came to Youngstown in 1986 as the head football coach and went on to lead the Penguins to 10 playoff appearances and four national championships. He went on to lead Ohio State to the 2002 national championship and six Big Ten titles as the head coach of the Buckeyes.
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