JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Close to 40 former players were in attendance this past week as the Jacksonville University Baseball team hosted its annual alumni weekend event.
On the field, the 2014 JU Baseball team came out on the winning side of things on a gorgeous Saturday afternoon beating the alumni 11-1. With one of the biggest turnouts in years, the 2014 team got to see some of JU’s all time greats close up. Among the former JU greats in attendance were New York Mets starting 2B Daniel Murphy, Minnesota Twins 3rd round pick Adam Brett Walker, and last year’s 1st round pick by the Los Angeles Dodgers Chris Anderson. Dan Gulbransen (Astros) and Matt Tomshaw (Twins), and former Angels minor leaguer Gordie Gronkowski, whose brother Rob plays TE for the New England Patriots were also on hand.
“It was a great day for JU Baseball. My staff did a tremendous job in preparing all week to get our facility in tip top shape,” said Head Coach Tim Montez.
“Our team did some good things today, but what I was most proud of was the energy they showed from start to finish. We have a long ways to go in being ready to compete in the spring vs. a top 20 schedule. We are short in some areas, but I can guarantee one thing and that is these young men will be prepared, play fundamentally sound baseball and will do the best to their abilities day in and day out.”
The day was capped off by a country style barbeque and auction where all the proceeds from the evening will go straight to capital improvements within the baseball program. Former JU standout and current JU president Tim Cost was in attendance with his wife Stephanie, along with Director of Athletics Brad Edwards who starred in the NFL.
The event was held in the CP Cost Pavillion which serves as the JU hitting and pitching facility. Jacksonville’s own celebrity radio sports talk host Dan Hicken handled the live auction flawlessly, which was highlighted by some great trips, and framed signed jerseys from Murphy and Rob Gronkowski.
Over 100 additional silent auction items included a signed Pete Rose bat and a mint condition Greg Maddux rookie card.
“Our committee which was spearheaded by Sharon Murphy (mother of JU alums Daniel and Jonathan) did a fantastic job in such a short period of time,” Montez added. “I truly appreciate all of their hard work. This annually event will be held in conjunction with the alumni game and will only get bigger and better each year.”
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