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Nov. 4, 2016

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — The Virginia Baseball program will hold its 2017 Step Up to the Plate event on Saturday, Jan. 28, 2017, at 6 p.m. at John Paul Jones Arena. The program’s special guest speaker is Hall of Fame shortstop Ozzie Smith.

Tickets for Step Up to the Plate are on sale now and may be ordered in person at the UVA Athletics Ticket Office in Bryant Hall, by phone at 1-800-542-8821 or online at Sponsored tables may be reserved by calling the Virginia Athletics Foundation at 800-626-8723. Fans are encouraged to purchase their tickets early as the event is expected to sell out.

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 with a member of the baseball team, and admission to the pre-event reception. The pre-event reception for table sponsors will begin at 4:15 p.m.

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

The evening begins with an autograph session with the 2017 Virginia baseball team and silent auction at 5:15 p.m. The program begins at 6 p.m. with comments from UVA head coach Brian O’Connor as well as the introduction of the 2017 team. A buffet dinner starts at 6:45 p.m. A live auction follows the dinner at 7:30 p.m. Also after dinner, Smith will provide the keynote address.

The live and silent auctions will include autographed memorabilia from UVA Athletics and the professional ranks, as well as game tickets, exclusive Virginia Baseball experiences and more.

Smith was a 15-time MLB All-Star and 13-time Gold Glove honoree during his 19-year career with the San Diego Padres and St. Louis Cardinals. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2002 in his first year of eligibility. Smith played in over 2,500 career games and helped the Cardinals to a world championship in 1982. Often referred to as “The Wizard” because of his dazzling defensive prowess, Smith set MLB records for career assists (8,375) and double plays (1,590) by a shortstop.

Step Up to the Plate has been a special evening throughout its history. While the event has not featured a keynote speaker since 2011, Step Up to the Plate boasts an impressive resume of speakers from the baseball world: former St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony La Russa (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), current Cleveland Indians manager Terry Francona (2008), former Philadelphia Phillies manager Charlie Manuel (2009), Hall of Fame outfielder Dave Winfield (2010) and former New York Mets manager Bobby Valentine (2011).

2017 Step Up to the Plate
Date: Saturday, Jan. 28, 2017, 6 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 (includes a Virginia Baseball team autographed ball)
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, eight reserved table tickets to Step Up to the Plate and eight General Admission 2017 Virginia baseball season tickets (no trade opportunity for Reserved seats)

Event Timeline:
4:15 p.m.
Pre-event reception for table sponsors
5:15 p.m.
Doors open, silent auction begins and autograph session with 2017 Virginia Baseball Team
6 p.m.
Program begins; Coach O’Connor will introduce 2017 team
6:45 p.m.
Buffet dinner begins
7:30 p.m.
Live auction; special guest speaker Ozzie Smith; the night concludes with silent auction results

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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