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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. The Virginia baseball program will hold the seventh annual Step Up to the Plate benefit Saturday, Jan. 31, from 6-9 p.m. at Memorial Gymnasium. The featured speaker will be Charlie Manuel, manager of the 2008 World Champion Philadelphia Phillies. It marks the second straight year Virginia has welcomed the manager of Major League Baseball’s reigning championship team, as Boston Red Sox manager Terry Francona spoke to a sold-out crowd at the 2008 Step Up to the Plate.

Tickets for Step Up To The Plate go on sale Thursday and can be ordered in person at the UVa Athletics Ticket Office in Bryant Hall, by phone at 1-800-542-UVA1 or online at Tables may be reserved by calling 800-626-8723. Proceeds from the event will go to the Virginia Baseball program.

A limited number of tickets are available for the event. Ticket prices are $60 for adults and $35 for children 12 and under and Virginia Baseball alumni. Sponsored tables for the event are $2,500 and include a reserved table for a party of eight, eight general admission baseball season tickets and admission to the pre-event reception. There is also a group or team special with the purchase of 20 or more tickets. The pre-event reception will begin at 5 p.m.

The night kicks off with an autograph session with the 2009 Virginia baseball team and silent auction at 6 p.m. A buffet barbecue dinner will begin at 7 p.m. Following dinner, Manuel will speak to the event audience, and a live auction will close the night. The silent and live auctions will include autographed memorabilia from Virginia and the professional ranks, as well as game tickets and more.

Step Up to the Plate has proven to be a special evening during its six-year history, with each event featuring a notable speaker, including current St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony LaRussa (2003), Baltimore Orioles Hall of Famer Cal Ripken Jr. (2004), Hall of Famer and former Los Angeles Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda (2005), Hall of Famer and former Orioles third baseman Brooks Robinson (2006), Hall of Fame second baseman Ryne Sandberg of the Chicago Cubs (2007) and current Red Sox manager Terry Francona (2008).

2009 Virginia Baseball Step Up to the Plate
Featured Speaker:
Charlie Manuel
Date: Saturday, January 31, 2009, 6-9 p.m.
Location: Memorial Gymnasium
Adult Tickets: $60
Youth Tickets (12 & under): $35
Virginia Baseball Alumni: $35
Sponsored Tables*: $2,500
*Includes: eight tickets to pre-event reception with Charlie Manuel and other special baseball guests; eight reserved table tickets to Step Up to the Plate; eight general admission 2009 Virginia baseball season tickets

Event Timeline:
5-6 p.m.

Pre-event reception for table sponsors
6 p.m.
Doors open, silent auction begins and autograph session with 2009 Virginia Baseball Team
7 p.m.
Buffet barbecue dinner begins followed by Charlie Manuel speech and live auction

Limited Number of Tickets Available call the Virginia Athletics Ticket Office at 1-800-542-UVA1 or go online at; for tables call 1-800-626-8723

Virginia Baseball poster, schedule card, magnet and t-shirt for all in attendance

Noting Charlie Manuel:
Managerial Career:

Named the manager of the Phillies on Nov. 4, 2004
In Manuel’s four years, Phillies have gone 354-294 and won two NL East titles
Led Phillies to World Series title in 2008
Managed the Cleveland Indians from 2000 through mid-2002, posting a 220-191 record
Posted a record of 90-72 in 2000 and became the first Indians rookie manager to have 90 wins in a season since Al Lopez (93-61) in 1951
Posted a record of 91-71 (.562) in his second year as manager, leading Cleveland to the Central Division title
Spent six seasons (1994-99) as Cleveland’s hitting coach after being named to the staff on 10/11/93
Under his tutelage in 1999 the Indians scored a franchise-record and ML-best 1,009 runs, becoming the first team since the 1950 Boston Red Sox and seventh major league team overall to eclipse the 1,000-run plateau
From 1994-99, the Indians led the AL in runs three times (1994-95, 1999) and led the league in home runs in 1994 and 1995, while setting a franchise record by hitting 220 HR in 1997
From 1990-93, he managed Cleveland’s triple-A affiliates in Colorado Springs and Charlotte
In 1992 he guided the Colorado Springs Sky Sox to the Pacific Coast League title and was named PCL Manager of the Year; in 1993 he led the Charlotte Knights to the International League crown
Started his off-field baseball career as a Twins scout in 1982

Playing Career:
18-year professional
Appeared in the ALCS with Minnesota in 1969 and 1970
His two managers in the major leagues were Billy Martin and Walter Alston
Starred for six seasons in Japan with the Yakult Swallows and Kintetsu Buffaloes from 1976-81
Clubbed 189 home runs in Japan, including a league-high 48 in 1980 which was, at the time, an American record for Japanese baseball
Batted .324 with 37 homers and 94 RBI in 1979 and was named the MVP, the first American to be so honored
Played with three Japanese pennant winners
Was signed to his first pro contract by Minnesota as an outfielder
Won the Midwest League triple crown award (.313, 15 HR, 70 RBI) in 1967
Named to the ML All-Star team for Wisconsin Rapids (1967) and a Southern League All-Star for Charlotte in 1968

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