January 7, 2014 11:31:12 AM
STARKVILLE -- Three-time Major League Baseball All-Star pitcher Roy Oswalt will be the guest speaker for the Mississippi State baseball team's First Pitch Banquet, MSU coach John Cohen announced Monday.
The event will be at 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 1, at the Palmeiro Center.
Advanced tickets are on sale for $12 at HailState.com/tickets, or by calling 1-888-GO-DAWGS. Tickets can be purchased the day of the event for $17 at the Palmeiro Center front entrance. For additional information, contact the MSU Baseball Office at 662-325-3597.
A 13-year veteran, Oswalt pitched for the Houston Astros (2001-2010), the Philadelphia Phillies (2010-2011), the Texas Rangers (2012), and the Colorado Rockies (2013). The Weir native was a National League All-Star from 2005-07 with the Astros, and has finished in the top six in the National League Cy Young voting six times. Oswalt led the Astros to their only World Series appearance in 2005, when he was named National League Championship Series Most Valuable Player.
Previous First Pitch speakers read like a who's who of Bulldog baseball history. Last year, Major League Baseball player Tyler Moore joined a group that includes Jeff Brantley, Will Clark, Dave "Boo" Ferriss, Dave Klipstein, Alex Grammas, Paul Maholm, Burke Masters, Joel Matthews, Mitch Moreland, Jonathan Papelbon, Jay Powell, Jim Robinson, Nat Showalter, Bobby Thigpen, and Cohen.
Best-selling author and MSU alumnus John Grisham and MLB Hall of Famer Tommy Lasorda, the longtime manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers, also have been guest speakers.
This season's festivities start at 11:30 a.m. in the Griffis Boardroom with a hamburger/hot dog lunch. Fans will receive a 2014 schedule poster and schedule card.
At the same time, attendees can take part in an autograph session with members of this season's team in the Palmeiro Center. The First Pitch program, emceed by Cohen, follows at 12:45 p.m. and features an introduction of the Diamond Dawgs and staff and a speaking appearance by Oswalt.
Following Oswalt, fans can go to Dudy Noble Field for a 2:15 p.m. intrasquad scrimmage. The seven-inning affair will act as an Opening Day dress rehearsal and will conclude fan day.
MSU, which is ranked No. 2 in the Collegiate Baseball preseason poll, will begin its 124th season at 4 p.m. Friday, Feb. 14, against Hofstra at Dudy Noble Field.