TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – As Major League Baseball players ready for the 2010 season, Florida Governor Charlie Crist will host the Governor’s Baseball Dinner, on the eve of the first day Pitchers and Catchers report for many teams in the Grapefruit League. The 2010 Governor’s Baseball Dinner will again take place at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg on Wednesday evening, February 17. The evening will begin with a reception at 6:00 p.m. followed by the dinner program at 7:00 p.m.
This event features representatives from the teams holding spring training in the Sunshine State, along with Florida-based member clubs of Minor League Baseball. Major League Baseball Commissioner Allan “Bud” Selig, has accepted the Governor’s invitation to attend and is expected to be joined by several former Major League players, including members of the Baseball Hall of Fame.
The dinner has been a showcase for members of the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame in previous years and 2010 will be no different as Andre Dawson, a 2010 inductee and current member of the Florida Marlins staff, will be in attendance. Previously, the Hall of Famer list has included Robin Roberts, Al Kaline, Mike Schmidt, Bill Mazeroski, Phil Niekro Tony Perez and Wade Boggs. Ken Griffey, Sr., Eric Davis, Kent Tekulve and Manny Sanguillen were among other notable former players in attendance at the 2009 Dinner.
The 2010 Governor’s Baseball Dinner will be emceed by longtime Major League Baseball play-by-play announcer Gary Thorne, currently the voice of the Baltimore Orioles.
As in the past, the Governor’s Baseball Dinners will salute, the defending World Series Champions and runners-up: the Boston Red Sox and St. Louis Cardinals in 2008, the Philadelphia Phillies and Tampa Bay Rays in 2009, and the New York Yankees and Philadelphia in 2010.
Florida’s salute to spring training honors a tradition dating back to the late 1800s. Baseball fans in attendance will also be treated to a Florida Spring Training Baseball museum exhibit, “Play Ball: The History of Spring Training in the Sunshine State,” and a silent auction presented by the Ted Williams Museum & Hitters Hall of Fame.
The 2010 Florida Grapefruit League season will begin on March 3 in 14 locations around the state with 15 teams playing throughout the month of March. An economic impact survey commissioned by the Florida Sports Foundation, and completed by Bonn Marketing Research, showed Florida Spring Training Baseball brings a $752 million annually to the state.
Individual tickets are $100 and tables of 10 are available for $1,000. Visit www.flasports.com for ticket information and the opportunity to purchase tickets online. Event sponsorships are also available through the Florida Sports Foundation, contact Sarah Kirchberg at (850) 488-8347 for more information.
For more information about the 2010 Governor’s Baseball Dinner as it becomes available, please checkwww.flasports.com