STARKVILLE, Miss. – Mississippi State baseball fans should mark their
calendars for Saturday, Feb. 1, as the annual First Pitch/Fan Day
baseball celebration takes place at 11:30 a.m. CT in the Palmeiro Center
on campus. Fans will receive a 2014 schedule poster and schedule card at
the event, which serves as the unofficial kickoff for the 2014 baseball
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) 325-3597.
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.