BYU baseball held the second annual First Pitch Dinner Jan. 25 at the Nu Skin Ballroom.
The fundraising event helps the team meet any financial needs through the upcoming season. “This is about the BYU family supporting BYU and especially the baseball program,” head coach Mike Littlewood said. Attendants also met players and coaches of past and present. Major League Baseball Hall of Famer Jeff Kent gave the keynote address at the event.
A silent auction took place at the beginning of the event. Items auctioned included a Derek Jeter-signed baseball bat, a Jimmer Fredette-signed basketball, a Taysom Hill-signed hemet and a Steve Young-signed football.
Glen Tuckett, former baseball coach and athletic director at BYU, spoke about the origins of the Cameron Tuckett award. This award was named in honor of Glen Tuckett’s father and is given each year to the player who demonstrates consistent effort in academics, citizenship and baseball. Brock Whitney, the current co-captain of the BYU team, won the award for 2014.
Kent spoke about baseball and life in general. Kent never attended BYU but has been a member of The Church of Jesus Christ Latter-day Saints his whole life. “The ‘Y’ represents respect, a fraternity of the state, family, honor, integrity and morality to those living outside the state,” he said.
Kent talked about how baseball changed his life and has shaped him into the person he is today.
“The key to having good years is to remember to have faith in all that you do,” he said. “When I learned this I had the best year of my career and received the MVP award.”
The live auction took place after Kent finished speaking. Guests were able to bid on trips with the team as well as a chair made from BYU baseball bats.