Baseball, Sports

Alumni Game kicks off new baseball season

Coach Jim Morris autographs Hurricanes Baseball posters for fans at the 2014 FanFest. Lyssa Goldberg // Online Editor

Coach Jim Morris autographs Hurricanes Baseball posters for fans at the 2014 FanFest. Lyssa Goldberg // Online Editor

Baseball fans clamoring for the 2015 season to begin can head to Alex Rodriguez Park at Mark Light Field Saturday as it comes alive for the annual Hurricanes Baseball FanFest and Alumni Game.

The Alumni Game traditionally takes place the weekend before the start of the season as an exhibition game between the Hurricanes baseball team and former players who have graduated, many of whom have gone on to play for Major League Baseball.

Former Hurricane Chantz Mack (Seattle Mariners minors), who has played on both sides of the Alumni Game, said that it is a good test game for the team.

“Right now they’re just playing against each other in the inter-squad games, and that gets very boring,” he said. “Now they get to play in front of a crowd.”

Players who have returned for the Alumni Game in the past include Jon Jay, outfielder for the St. Louis Cardinals and World Series ring holder; Yonder Alonso, who has played for the San Diego Padres since 2012; and Gaby Sanchez, a former Pittsburgh Pirate who was recently signed to play professional baseball in Japan.

An autograph session with the coaches and players will take place from 4-5 p.m., when fans can get their hands on a 2015 team poster. For the young children who tag along, Saturday’s activities will include face painting, inflatable bounce houses and other games.

Alumni will take to the field for batting practice at 4:15 p.m., and Hurricanes alumni and current players will be introduced to the fans starting at 5:30 p.m. Following FanFest, Hurricanes Baseball alumni take on the 2015 team at 6 p.m. The activities and game are free.

Mack said the Alumni Game is a good opportunity for fans to get an early look at the current team in action as well as to see their favorite former players. This year, the alumni lineup includes Mack, Chris Hernandez (Boston Red Sox AAA) and Alex San Juan (2013 graduate).

Last year’s graduates Javi Salas (Milwaukee Brewers minors), Dale Carey (Washington Nationals minors), Tyler Palmer (Los Angeles Angels minors) and Alex Hernandez (Houston Astros minors) will also play against many of their former teammates on the 2015 Miami Hurricanes team.

Mack, who returned for the Alumni Game for the first time last spring, said it can be a strange experience playing against old teammates.

“The year previous, I was captain of the team and I had played with all those guys, and now playing against them, it felt very weird to me,” he said. “It didn’t feel comfortable. But I had a lot of fun in the game.”

The Mark Light Shake stand will be open throughout the day for its 30th season of serving up milkshakes, including a new cookie dough flavor in honor of the Sugarcanes bat girls.

Fans can look forward to opening day the following weekend. The Hurricanes open the 2015 season at home with a series against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights beginning 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 13.

February 4, 2015

Reporters

Lyssa Goldberg

Lyssa Goldberg is online editor of The Miami Hurricane. She is a senior majoring in journalism and political science with a minor in math. She has interned at Mashable and the Miami New Times, and her work has also been featured in The Huffington Post.


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

It could be a fruitful year for the Miami Hurricanes in the 2019 NFL Draft. NFL Draft analyst Mel Ki ...

A quick six-pack off UM coach Manny Diaz’s conversation with Joe Zagacki and Don Bailey Jr. on WQAM’ ...

UM was very fortunate that junior linebackers Shaquille Quarterman, Mike Pinckney and Zach McCloud a ...

Hard Rock Stadium will be filled with Miami fans — and probably only Miami fans — when the two colle ...

They made school history on Sunday with a nationally-televised road upset of No. 2 Louisville, and o ...

UM public health experts try to help tackle Venezuela’s ongoing health care crisis. ...

The Ring Theatre’s contemporary reworking of Molière’s “The Misanthrope” showcases the skills of UM’ ...

Miami Law’s Frances Hill answers key questions about the National Emergencies Act. ...

Researcher Rebecca Bulotsky Shearer is leading a study aimed at increasing the number of kids who ar ...

UM alumna Alina Mayo Azze, who has covered a myriad of topics during her 37-year career, has been a ...

The Hurricanes will wrap up a four-game homestand with a midweek game against FAU on Wednesday at 6 ...

The No. 14 Miami women's basketball team is set to cap its longest road stretch of the season T ...

The No. 25-ranked University of Miami golf team closed out the 2019 Allstate Sugar Bowl Intercollegi ...

The University of Miami swimming & diving team begins its run at the 2019 ACC Swimming & Div ...

For the second week in a row, the Miami women's basketball team made the largest leap of any sc ...

TMH Twitter
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.