Baseball

@NDBaseball
Ninth Annual Opening Night Dinner Major Success

Feb. 18, 2010

NOTRE DAME, Ind. - At the Opening Night Dinner for the Irish baseball program (the ninth annual edition) tonight, there was a new wrinkle involved with the event moving from the north dome field house (where instead the second round of the Bengal Bouts took place Tuesday night) to the floor of Purcell Pavilion.

WHME's Chuck Freeby (radio voice of Notre Dame baseball) opened by introducing the 2010 Irish team, then threw in a dig at MC Jeff Jeffers (from WNDU) by identifying him as "a former assistant baseball coach at Notre Dame - and yet the program has survived." Fans filled 57 tables on the basketball floor, with another 100 or more fans in the Purcell Pavilion seats as part of a general admission offering. The event drew a larger than usual media contingent, in particular due to new Irish football coach Brian Kelly's presence.

Coach Dave Schrage kidded that you can count on it snowing in South Bend any time the opening dinner is scheduled. Former Indiana governor Joe Kernan led the crowd in a rendition of "Take Me Out to the Ball Game," while wearing sunglasses.

Schrage noted the 30 returning players compared to five freshmen -- and remembered back to last spring when his team did not make the NCAA bracket and he had to think of what to say to his players. He also held up the 2010 team T-shirt with the number 898 on it - signifying the numbers of all the players on the roster added together.

Speaker Ron Reed, a former Notre Dame star in both baseball and basketball and a longtime MLB pitcher and NBA veteran now living in Atlanta (originally from LaPorte, Ind.), began by welcoming Kelly to the Notre Dame family. He also told the story of being the winning Atlanta Brave pitcher the night Hank Aaron hit his record 715th home run. He talked about facing the San Francisco Giants Juan Marichal in his first MLB start, including Willie Mays (he got Mays out) and Willie McCovey (he hit a home run). Finally, he read some typically hilarious remarks from Hall of Famer Yogi Berra.

 

 

Kelly received a standing ovation before he ever said a word. He referred to Schrage's 898 shirt and used the phrase "next man in" -- in other words, nobody is indispensible and everyone has to contribute. Kelly said winning once in a while is one thing - winning consistently is another matter. "Everybody has a value on this team. Everybody has to be ready to contribute," he said. Kelly talked about "unconscious competence" as being the key to winning on a consistent basis, as it happens naturally - and suggested the Irish baseball team is close to that next stage.

During the Q&A period, Kelly was asked by a youngster if there were any season tickets he could have. Reed's "best advice" was that these are the five most important things a pitcher needs -- have control, learn ball movement, have control, have some velocity, and have control. Kelly talked about having shorter, high-tempo practices and trying to find a way to shorten the days for his players to keep them fresh. Finally, the Irish captains presented Kelly and Reed with framed green Irish baseball jerseys.

-- ND --

Event Calendar

Delta

February 17
L, 10-2
Lafayette
San Antonio, TX
RECAP

103.1 FM
WatchND
February 18
L, 8-6
Saint Louis
San Antonio, TX
RECAP

103.1 FM
WatchND
February 18
W, 12-10
Incarnate Word
San Antonio, TX
RECAP

WatchND
February 19
L, 8-3
Saint Louis
San Antonio, TX
RECAP

103.1 FM
WatchND
February 24
9:00 PM
San Diego
San Diego, CA

103.1 FM
WatchND
February 25
3:00 PM
TBD
San Diego, CA
February 26
1:00 PM
TBD
San Diego, CA

103.1 FM
March 3
4:30 PM
Maryland
Cary, NC

103.1 FM
WatchND
March 4
12:00 PM
UMass Lowell
Cary, NC

WatchND
March 4
4:00 PM
Rhode Island
Cary, NC

103.1 FM
WatchND
March 5
11:00 AM
Monmouth
Cary, NC

103.1 FM
WatchND
March 10
6:30 PM
Clemson
Clemson, SC

103.1 FM
WatchND
March 11
4:00 PM
Clemson
Clemson, SC

103.1 FM
WatchND
March 12
1:00 PM
Clemson
Clemson, SC

103.1 FM
WatchND
March 14
6:00 PM
Davidson
Davidson, NC

103.1 FM
WatchND
March 17
3:00 PM
Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh, PA

103.1 FM
WatchND
March 18
1:00 PM
Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh, PA

103.1 FM
WatchND
March 19
1:00 PM
Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh, PA

103.1 FM
WatchND
March 21
6:05 PM
Northern Illinois
Notre Dame, IN

103.1 FM
WatchND
March 22
6:05 PM
Toledo
Notre Dame, IN

103.1 FM
WatchND
March 24
6:05 PM
Florida State
Notre Dame, IN

103.1 FM
WatchND
March 25
4:05 PM
Florida State
Notre Dame, IN

103.1 FM
WatchND
March 26
1:05 PM
Florida State
Notre Dame, IN

103.1 FM
WatchND
March 28
6:05 PM
Chicago State
Notre Dame, IN

103.1 FM
WatchND
March 31
6:05 PM
North Carolina State
Notre Dame, IN

103.1 FM
WatchND
April 1
4:05 PM
North Carolina State
Notre Dame, IN

103.1 FM
WatchND
April 2
1:05 PM
North Carolina State
Notre Dame, IN

103.1 FM
WatchND
April 4
7:00 PM
Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI

103.1 FM
WatchND
April 5
TBA
South Bend Cubs
South Bend, IN (Four Winds Field)

103.1 FM
WatchND
April 7
6:05 PM
Georgia Tech
Notre Dame, IN

103.1 FM
WatchND
April 8
4:05 PM
Georgia Tech
Notre Dame, IN

103.1 FM
WatchND
April 9
1:05 PM
Georgia Tech
Notre Dame, IN

103.1 FM
WatchND
April 11
6:05 PM
Michigan State
Notre Dame, IN

103.1 FM
WatchND
April 14
6:00 PM
Wake Forest
Winston-Salem, NC

103.1 FM
WatchND
April 15
4:00 PM
Wake Forest
Winston-Salem, NC

103.1 FM
WatchND
April 16
1:00 PM
Wake Forest
Winston-Salem, NC

103.1 FM
WatchND
April 18
7:05 PM
Central Michigan
Detroit, MI (Comerica Park)

103.1 FM
WatchND
April 19
6:05 PM
Illinois State
Notre Dame, IN

103.1 FM
WatchND
April 21
6:00 PM
Virginia
Charlottesville, VA

103.1 FM
WatchND
April 22
4:00 PM
Virginia
Charlottesville, VA

103.1 FM
WatchND
April 23
12:00 PM
Virginia
Charlottesville, VA

103.1 FM
WatchND
April 25
6:05 PM
Valparaiso
Notre Dame, IN

103.1 FM
WatchND
April 26
6:05 PM
Eastern Michigan
Notre Dame, IN

103.1 FM
WatchND
April 28
6:05 PM
Duke
Notre Dame, IN

103.1 FM
WatchND
April 29
1:05 PM
Duke
Notre Dame, IN

103.1 FM
WatchND
April 30
11:35 AM
Duke
Notre Dame, IN

103.1 FM
WatchND
May 5
6:05 PM
Louisville
Notre Dame, IN

103.1 FM
WatchND
May 6
4:05 PM
Louisville
Notre Dame, IN

103.1 FM
WatchND
May 7
1:05 PM
Louisville
Notre Dame, IN

103.1 FM
WatchND
May 12
7:05 PM
Austin Peay
Notre Dame, IN

103.1 FM
WatchND
May 13
4:05 PM
Austin Peay
Notre Dame, IN

103.1 FM
WatchND
May 14
1:05 PM
Austin Peay
Notre Dame, IN

103.1 FM
WatchND
May 18
2:30 PM
Boston College
Chestnut Hill, MA

103.1 FM
WatchND
May 19
1:30 PM
Boston College
Chestnut Hill, MA

103.1 FM
WatchND
May 20
1:00 PM
Boston College
Chestnut Hill, MA

103.1 FM
WatchND

Shop Now

Nissan

Auctions

Official ND Online Auctions // Bid Now »

Gear Store

Get your Official ND Gear // Shop Now »

Photo Galleries

Canon

NCAA Infractions Report

St. Joseph Health System Nissan Delta Canon Visit South Bend Mishawaka Vivid Seats