WORCESTER, Mass. – Holy Cross baseball head coach Greg DiCenzo and the rest of the 2014 baseball team will host the 10th annual Leadoff Dinner on Saturday, Feb. 1, beginning at 5:00 p.m. in the Hogan Campus Center Ballroom. This year's event will feature two guest speakers, Chris Colabello of the Minnesota Twins and J.P. Ricciardi of the New York Mets.
Colabello is currently a first baseman for the Minnesota Twins and made his major league debut during the 2013 season. He began his professional baseball career playing on Fitton Field for the Worcester Tornadoes of the independent Can-Am League from 2005-2011. Following his stint with the Tornadoes, Colabello was signed by the Twins in 2012 and quickly moved through the minor league ranks making his first major league appearance on May 22, 2013. A native of Milford, Mass., Colabello was a member of the Assumption College baseball team. He also played for the Italian National Team during the 2013 World Baseball Classic.
Ricciardi, a Worcester native, currently serves as the special assistant to the general manger of the New York Mets. He began his baseball career as a player in the Mets organization in 1980. After his playing career concluded, Ricciardi coached in the New York Yankees farm system until he joined the Oakland Athletics organization in 1986. He rose through the ranks of Oakland's front office and was promoted to director of player personal in 1997. Ricciardi then served as general manager of the Toronto Blue Jays from 2002-2009. He joined the Mets front office during the 2010 season.
The baseball team will also honor Richard M. Regan, Jr., who served as the athletic director for Holy Cross over the past 15 years. During Regan's tenure, 19 Holy Cross teams have advanced to NCAA tournament play – including at least one team in 10 of his 15 seasons. He also added two new sports to Holy Cross, women's golf and women's ice hockey. Regan played a pivotal role in helping construct the brand new baseball field for the Crusaders, which opened in 2005.
The event will begin at 5:00 p.m. with a social hour and cash bar, followed by a buffet dinner at 6:00 p.m. Members of the 2014 Holy Cross baseball team and their families will be in attendance along with many alumni and friends.
Tickets for the dinner are $115 per person or $90 for Holy Cross alumni and friends from classes 2008-2013. All proceeds will directly fund this year's spring trips to Mississippi State, Charleston Southern, Savannah State and Georgia Southern. In order to reserve a ticket, please fill out the registration form online here by Friday, Jan. 25. For further information on the dinner, please contact Jennifer Whipple at (508) 793-3583 or firstname.lastname@example.org.