NASHVILLE, Tenn. – As the 2019 baseball season draws near, the Lipscomb Bisons and 13th-year skipper Jeff Forehand are excited to announce the 5th Annual Lipscomb Baseball First Pitch Dinner, which will be held Saturday, January 26 inside Allen Arena. Headlining the event as the featured speaker will be former Major League Baseball 5-time all-star and World Series Champion Fred McGriff.
The doors will open at 5 p.m. for a meet and greet with the Bisons, followed by a dinner and live auction at 6. Auction items included are vacation packages, an MLB experience and other unique opportunities. You can RSVP for the event HERE.
While no purchase of tickets are required for the dinner, guests are encouraged to make donations to the program. Limited VIP tables with eight seats are available for $1,500 – this purchase will get you a private meet and greet with the “Crime Dog” that includes a photo and an autographed baseball. You will also receive two Lipscomb Baseball season tickets and the choice of a player or coach to sit at your table.
Annual proceeds from the Bullpen Club are used to directly support Lipscomb student-athletes, coaches and staff. Donations help with upgrades to Ken Dugan Field at Marsh Stadium, purchase additional training equipment, supplement the travel budget and acquire additional items that allow the coaches and players to reach their highest potential.
Drafted by the New York Yankees in the 9th round of the 1981 amateur draft, McGriff is a former MLB first baseman who played for six teams from 1986-2004.
After being dealt in a trade in 1982, McGriff played his first five years in the big leagues with the Toronto Blue Jays before spending the rest of his 19-year career between the San Diego Padres, Atlanta Braves, Tampa Bay Devil Rays, Chicago Cubs and the Los Angeles Dodgers.
He was a 5-time All-Star and finished his career with a .284 batting average, a .377 on-base percentage, a .509 slugging percentage and 493 home runs, which are tied with Lou Gehrig for 28th most in Major League history. He has hit homeruns in more Major League ballparks than any other player in history.
He won a World Series title with the Braves in 1995 and is currently working for the organization in the front office as a Special Assistant to Baseball Operations.
McGriff reached the majors full-time in 1987 and hit 34 home runs the next year, his first of seven consecutive seasons with over 30 homers. McGriff emerged as the top power hitter in the American League in 1989, leading the league with 36 home runs, including the first at Toronto’s SkyDome, helping the Blue Jays win the AL East division title.
McGriff batted .300 in 1990 and established himself as a consistent producer.
He was traded to the Padres in 1990 and earned his first All-Star appearance and led the NL in home runs two years later. Out of playoff contention, McGriff was dealt to the Dirty South in 1993 and went on to hit a career high 37 homers and a 4th-place finish in the NL MVP voting.
In 1995 batting cleanup for the Braves, McGriff hit a pair of home runs in the World Series en route to his only championship. A year later, he hit .295/.365/.494 with a career best 107 RBI and made a second straight trip to the World Series in 1996.
Following the completion of the 1997 season, the Braves allowed McGriff to be picked up by the Devil Rays – his hometown team. The switch-hitter totaled 99 home runs over five seasons in Tampa, including back-to-back 100-RBI seasons.
In July 2001, McGriff waived his no-trade clause to allow himself to be traded to Chicago. He produced his final 30-home run season in 2002 with the Cubs which earned him a one-year contract with the Dodgers in 2003 before signing back with the Devil Rays in 2004 where he finished his career.
McGriff became eligible for the Hall of Fame in 2010.
For more information regarding the event, please contact Lipscomb baseball Director of Operations Brian Ryman at 615-966-5868 or by email: Brian.Ryman@Lipscomb.edu.
The Bisons open the 2019 season at Dugan Field on Feb. 15 with a three-game set against Valparaiso. Friday's first pitch is set for 4 p.m.