Hall Of Famer Jim Rice To Headline ODU Baseball Clinic Weekend

December 16, 2011
By ODU Athletics
ODU Sports

Dec. 16, 2011

NORFOLK, VA--Baseball Hall of Famer and Boston Red Sox great Jim Rice will be the keynote speaker and clinician for the 35th annual GTI Systems, Inc. "Meet the Stars" Banquet at the Sheraton Norfolk Waterside Hotel, and annual ODU Baseball Clinic January 20 & 21, 2012.

Jim Rice's 16-year big league career in Boston continued a legacy of renowned Red Sox left fielders that included Ted Williams and Carl Yastrzemski. One of the most feared right-handed hitters of his era, Rice hit at least 20 homers in 11 of his first 12 full seasons and led the American League in total bases four times, homers three times and RBI and slugging percentage twice each.

The powerfully built eight-time All-Star amassed 2,452 hits, a career .298 batting average with 382 home runs, and 1,451 RBI's. Rice captured the American League's Most Valuable Player Award in 1978, when he collected 406 total bases, the most in the AL in more than 40 years. That season, Rice hit .315 with 46 homers and 139 RBI's. He also led the AL with 213 hits, and 15 triples with a .600 slugging percentage.

Rice hit 39 homers in a season in 1977, 1979 and 1983, and knocked in over 100 runs eight times. He played for the Red Sox from 1974-1989 and was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2009.

Individual tickets for the Jan. 20th banquet are $65 each with a special rate for groups or teams at $45.00 each (20+ tickets) by calling 683-4444. Table sponsorships, which include amenities such as a VIP reception with the headliner, autographed baseballs and more, will be available as well. Please contact the Old Dominion Athletic Foundation (ODAF) at 683-6963 for sponsorship information.

The annual ODU Baseball Clinic will be held Saturday, Jan. 21 at the spacious Virginia Beach Field House (2157 Landstown Road) from 9 a.m. to noon for children, grades 1-8.

Admission for participants is $5 for pre-registrations, and $10 the day of the clinic (parents are admitted free), with proceeds assisting ODAF for the baseball program. Register at www.beachfieldhouse.com (go to the baseball link for more information), or call the Virginia Beach Field house at 427-3955. All participants should bring their own glove and no metal spikes or screw-in spikes are permitted.

The ODU event annually features some of the top names in major league baseball. In the past Hall of Famers Ozzie Smith, Rollie Fingers, Andre Dawson, Rich Gossage, Joe Morgan, Brooks Robinson, Hank Aaron, Lou Brock, Steve Carlton, Jim Palmer, Johnny Bench, Bob Gibson, Tom Seaver, the late Jim "Catfish" Hunter, the late Harmon Killebrew, Gaylord Perry, Dave Winfield, Tony Gwynn, Cal Ripken, Jr. managerial greats Tommy Lasorda and the late Sparky Anderson have served as clinicians.