ODU Athletics

Jim Leyland to Headline 2017 ODU Baseball Banquet

December 13, 2016
By ODU Athletics

NORFOLK, Va. -- Former major league manager Jim Leyland will be the Keynote Speaker at the 40th Annual Old Dominion Baseball Banquet on Friday, Jan. 13. 

The banquet will be held at the Sheraton Norfolk Waterside Hotel. The cocktail reception begins at 6 p.m. followed by dinner and presentations at 7 p.m.

"We are so excited to have a baseball legend in Jim Leyland coming to speak at our baseball dinner," said head coach Chris Finwood. "I can't wait to hear the message he brings to our team and our audience. It is shaping up to be a fantastic night."

Leyland joins a long list of baseball greats to serve as the keynote speaker for the ODU Baseball Banquet. Previous keynote speakers include Ozzie Smith, Joe Morgan, Brooks Robinson, Hank Aaron, Lou Brock, Steve Carlton, Jim Palmer, Johnny Bench, Bob Gibson, Tom Seaver, Cal Ripken, Jr., Tony Gwynn, Bob Feller, Tommy Lasorda, Buck Showalter and last year's speaker Clint Hurdle.

Tickets are $65 per person and groups of 20 or more can purchase tickets for $45 per person. For more information on tickets and banquet information, click here.

Jim Leyland is a retired MLB manager who managed for 22 seasons in the majors with the Pittsburgh Pirates (1986-1996), Florida Marlins (1997-1998), Colorado Rockies (1999) and Detroit Tigers (2006-2013). 

Leyland led the Marlins to the franchise's first World Series. The Marlins, in only their fifth year of existence, became the fastest expansion franchise to win a World Series. Additionally, he earned three Manager of the Year Awards, one with the Tigers and two with the Pirates, and won over 1,700 games in his managerial career. 

Leyland coached several of baseball's brightest stars during his tenure, including ODU alum Justin Verlander, Barry Bonds, Miguel Cabrera, Gary Sheffield, Prince Fielder, Ivan Rodriguez, Bobby Bonilla, Larry Walker and Curtis Granderson.

Leyland helped guide Verlander to the AL Rookie of the Year Award in 2006 and then to the AL Cy Young and MVP in 2011, as Verlander became the first AL pitcher since 1992 to be named MVP.

Leyland is one of seven managers in MLB history to win pennants in both leagues and is one of only two managers (Tony La Russa) to lead two different teams to three consecutive division titles. 

After retiring from his managerial position with the Tigers in 2013, Leyland still serves as a special assistant to Tigers and will manage Team USA at the 2017 World Baseball Classic.

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