Jan. 18, 2010
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The Notre Dame baseball program’s ninth annual Opening Night Dinner will be held in the newly renovated Purcell Pavilion on Tuesday, Feb. 16 – with Irish head football coach Brian Kelly and former Notre Dame and MLB pitcher Ron Reed (’65) serving as keynote speakers at the popular event.
Fans are encouraged to purchase tickets early to ensure their spot at the special night, which provides attendees the opportunity to visit with members of the Notre Dame baseball team. With the event being held inside the arena for the first time, two separate ticket opportunities, reserved floor seating and general admission arena seating, will be made available.
The price for floor seating will be $60 ($40 for students, youth and seniors) and includes a Notre Dame baseball 2010 season ticket (a $50 value, covering 25 regular-season games), autographed 8×10 photographs of each speaker and several other advance promotional items. The table will also include an Irish player. A special “fan pack” price of $140 also is available, providing admission and the other dinner benefits for two adults and two youth. The price for general admission (in the stands) will be $45 ($25 for students, youth and seniors) and includes all the same benefits of the floor ticket. One can also purchase a general admission “fan pack” for $100.
Tickets will go on sale on Thursday, Jan. 21 at 9:00 a.m. through the Notre Dame Ticket Office. Tickets can be purchased online 24 hours a day at www.und.com/tickets. They can also be purchased weekdays from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm (ET) by phone at (574) 631-7356 or in person at Gate 9 inside the Rosenthal Atrium of the Murnane Family Ticket Office in Purcell Pavilion. Service charges apply.
The “ballpark-style” dinner will begin at 7:00 p.m. The night’s festivities include the opportunity to win a variety of baseball and sports-related door prizes and introduction of the Notre Dame team members. The players will be seated at tables with attendees on the floor and will be available for autographs prior to the dinner from 6:00-6:45 in Heritage Hall. The ballpark atmosphere also will include big-screen video highlights and game tapes from previous Notre Dame seasons, plus a musical selection of traditional and contemporary baseball songs.
Kelly, a veteran of 19 seasons as a collegiate head coach — and most recently the architect of two consecutive Bowl Championship Series appearances at the University of Cincinnati, including a perfect 12-0 regular season in 2009 that earned him national-coach-of-the-year honors – is in his initial season in 2010 as the 29th head football coach at the University of Notre Dame.
Currently the sixth-winningest active coach in the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision in terms of winning percentage at .747 (seventh in victories at 171), Kelly’s head coaching resume includes:
- Three seasons at Cincinnati from 2007-09, including a 34-6 record (.850) and two straight outright BIG EAST Conference title teams that earned BCS appearances in 2008 (FedEx Orange Bowl) and ’09 (Allstate Sugar Bowl). At the time he accepted the position at Notre Dame, he qualified as the winningest active BIG EAST football coach and the only league coach with more than 150 wins.
- Three seasons at Central Michigan University from 2004-06, including a 19-16 overall record (.542) that featured a 9-4 mark and Mid-American Conference title in 2006.
- Thirteen seasons at Grand Valley State University from 1991-2003, including a 118-35-2 record (.767) that was highlighted by NCAA Division II national championships in 2002 (14-0) and 2003 (14-1).
- An overall record of 171-57-2 (.747) in those 19 seasons as a head coach.
Reed was a standout dual athlete at Notre Dame. He not only posted a 4.04 ERA, 2-2 record and 47 strikeouts in 64.2 innings of work in 1965 (his only season on the diamond), but Reed, a three-time monogram winner on the hardwood, also averaged 18.9 ppg and 14.3 rpg (third-highest in school history) in 61 career games for the Irish, including 20.0 ppg and a school record 17.7 rpg in 1963-64. Reed, one of 49 players in Irish basketball history to eclipse 1,000 career points, was selected with the fourth overall pick of the 1965 NBA draft by the Detroit Pistons.
After a brief two-year career with the Pistons, Reed spent the next 19 years in MLB with the Atlanta Braves (1966-75), St. Louis Cardinals (1975), Philadelphia Phillies (1976-83) and Chicago White Sox (1984). He posted a 146-140 record with a 3.46 ERA, 103 saves, 1,481 strikeouts, eight shutouts, 55 complete games, and 2,477.2 innings in 751 appearances (236 as a starter).
Reed’s individual career highlights include selection to the 1968 National League All-Star team, a career-high 18 victories in 1969 to help lead the Braves to their first ever NL division title and a MLB-best 13 relief wins in 1979. He also participated in eight NL Championship series and captured two World Series titles with the Phillies in 1980 and 1983.
Reed remains one of only eight pitchers in MLB history (with John Smoltz, Elroy Face, MLB Hall of Famer Dennis Eckersley, Bob Stanley, MLB Hall of Famer Rich Gossage, Dave Giusti and MLB Hall of Famer Hoyt Wilhelm) to have at least 100 wins and 100 saves. In fact, Reed, Eckersley and Smoltz are the only three pitchers in MLB history to have 100 wins, 100 saves and 50 complete games.
— ND —