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Varitek to Speak at Tech Baseball Banquet

Jan. 15, 2002

ATLANTA – Former Georgia Tech all-American and current Major League star Jason Varitek will be the featured speaker at the Yellow Jackets’ annual Baseball Benefit Dinner on Monday, Feb. 4.

Varitek, college baseball’s all-time greatest catcher according to Baseball America, is the only player in Georgia Tech history to have his jersey retired. He was a consensus all-America performer for three consecutive years from 1992-94, and he holds nearly all of Tech’s offensive records. A first-round draft pick in June 1994, Varitek reached the Major Leagues with Boston in September, 1997, and has spent the last four seasons as a regular for the Red Sox behind the plate.

Several former Georgia Tech standouts, including outfielder Jay Payton of the New York Mets, and pitchers Kevin Brown of the Los Angeles Dodgers, Doug Creek of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays and Kris Wilson of the Kansas City Royals, are expected to attend the dinner.

Varitek continues a tradition of well-known baseball figures to speak at the dinner, including popular ESPN analyst Peter Gammons last year. Major league managers Joe Torre of the New York Yankees, Tommy Lasorda of the Los Angeles Dodgers, Jimy Williams of the Boston Red Sox, and Sparky Anderson of the Cincinnati Reds and Detroit Tigers, as well as major league general managers John Schuerholz of the Atlanta Braves and Cam Bonifay of the Pittsburgh Pirates have also been featured in the past.

The annual dinner and auction, with proceeds to benefit the Georgia Tech baseball program, is being held at the Fabulous Fox Theatre in the Egyptian Ballroom beginning at 6:30 p.m. on Feb. 4. The cost is $70 per person and $650 for a table of 10. The evening includes silent and live auctions, as well as the introduction of the entire Tech team, which is ranked among the top 15 in the nation in the pre-season polls.

“The dinner is a chance to hear a message from a guy who was a great player at Georgia Tech and is currently a star in the Major Leagues in Jason Varitek,” said Tech head coach Danny Hall. “It’s also a chance to introduce our team to the fans and alumni.”

ALSO ON TAP for the weekend is the annual GEORGIA TECH ALUMNI GAME and cookout at 12 noon on Sunday, Feb. 3 at Russ Chandler Stadium. In addition to the game, former Yellow Jacket stars, including Jason Varitek and Doug Creek, are expected to be on hand for an autograph session. Admission to the game is $4 for adults and $2 for youth, while the cookout is priced at $7 for adults and $5 for youth. All proceeds from the event will go to support the Tech baseball program.

“The Alumni Game will be the first game played at the new Russ Chandler Stadium,” said Hall. “The new stadium would not have been possible if it weren’t for the sacrifices and heroics from all the guys that played at Georgia Tech in the past. I want them to be able to share in that day, and I want them to be able to play in the first game in the new stadium.”

To purchase tickets or get more information on the benefit dinner or the Alumni Game, please contact Chris Cowan in the Georgia Tech Sports Marketing Office at (404) 894-4400.

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