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Nov. 9, 2012

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The Virginia Baseball program will honor one of its own, three-time World Champion Javier Lopez of the San Francisco Giants, as part of the 11th annual Step Up to the Plate fundraiser, scheduled for Friday, Feb. 1, at 6:30 p.m. at John Paul Jones Arena.

ESPN Baseball Analyst Tim Kurkjian will serve as the special host for the event. Several former Cavalier greats who now are playing professional baseball also will be in attendance for the special evening.

Tickets for Step Up To The Plate go on sale at 9 a.m. Monday (Nov. 12) 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 Sponsored tables may be reserved by calling the Virginia Athletics Foundation at 800-626-8723. Proceeds from the event will support the Virginia Baseball program.

Ticket prices are $70 for adults, $35 for Virginia Baseball alumni, $30 for children 12 and under and $20 for current UVa students. A Family Four Pack is available, which includes two adult and two youth tickets for $175. Sponsored tables for the event are $2,500 and include a reserved table for a party of eight, admission to the pre-event reception and eight General Admission baseball season tickets (no trade opportunity for Reserved seats). The pre-event reception for table sponsors will begin at 5:15 p.m. There is also a group or team special rate with the purchase of 20 or more tickets – $50 for adults and $25 for children 12 and under.

Parking for the event is free in the John Paul Jones Arena and University Hall lots.

The night begins with an autograph session with the 2013 Virginia baseball team and silent auction at 5:45 p.m. The program will begin at 6:30 p.m. with comments from UVa head coach Brian O’Connor as well as the introduction of the 2013 team. A live auction will take place prior to a buffet dinner at 7:30 p.m. The silent and live auctions will include autographed memorabilia from Virginia and the professional ranks, as well as game tickets, exclusive Virginia Baseball experiences and more. After dinner, Lopez and Kurkjian will speak to the audience and hold a Q&A session.

Lopez played at Virginia from 1996-98 and was a member of Virginia’s ACC championship team in 1996. He was drafted in 1998 by the Arizona Diamondbacks and made his Major League debut in 2003 with the Colorado Rockies. The left-handed pitcher has played with five organizations during his 10-year MLB career and won World Series rings with the Boston Red Sox in 2007 as well as the San Francisco Giants in 2010 and 2012.

Lopez posted a 3-0 record with a 2.50 ERA and a career-high seven saves in 70 relief appearances with the Giants in 2012. He has been a workhorse over the last three years, making at least 70 relief appearances each season, including a career-high 77 in 2010. In the past three seasons, Lopez is 12-4 with a 2.51 ERA over 217 appearances.

Kurkjian joined ESPN in March 1998 as a reporter for Baseball Tonight and a senior writer for ESPN The Magazine. He has an extensive background in covering baseball, serving as a senior writer for Sports Illustrated from 1989-97 as well as a reporter for CNN-SI from 1996-97.

Kirkjian began covering baseball as the Texas Rangers beat writer for the Dallas Morning News, where he worked from 1981-85. He then covered the Baltimore Orioles for the Baltimore Sun beginning in 1986 before moving on to Sports Illustrated in 1989. His journalism career began with the Washington Star in 1978 following his graduation from the University of Maryland. He also worked briefly for the Baltimore News American in 1981 prior to covering the Rangers.

2013 Virginia Baseball Step Up to the Plate
Honoring: UVa’s Javier Lopez
Special Host: ESPN’s Tim Kurkjian
Date: Friday, Feburary 1, 2013, 6:30 p.m.
Location: John Paul Jones Arena
Parking: John Paul Jones Arena and University Hall
Adult Tickets: $70
Virginia Baseball Alumni: $35
Youth Tickets (12 & under): $30
Current UVa students: $20
Family Four Pack (2 adult, 2 youth tickets): $175
Sponsored Tables*: $2,500 (call VAF to reserve)
*Includes: eight tickets to pre-event reception with Javier Lopez, Tim Kurkjian and other Cavalier greats, eight reserved table tickets to Step Up to the Plate and eight General Admission 2013 Virginia baseball season tickets (no trade opportunity for Reserved seats)

Event Timeline:
5:15 p.m.

Pre-event reception for table sponsors
5:45 p.m.
Doors open, silent auction begins and autograph session with 2013 Virginia Baseball Team
6:30 p.m.
Program begins; Coach O’Connor will introduce 2013 team; Live Auction
7:30 p.m.
Buffet dinner begins; Javier Lopez and Tim Kurkjian will speak to the audience following dinner; the night concludes with silent auction results

For Tickets – call the Virginia Athletics Ticket Office at 1-800-542-UVA1; for tables call the Virginia Athletics Foundation at 1-800-626-8723

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

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