Baseball First Pitch Banquet set for Friday


    Six-time MLB All-Star Nomar Garciaparra will guest speak Friday at TCU baseball’s 11th-annual First Pitch Banquet.

    The banquet, which will take place at the Omni Hotel in downtown Fort Worth, will raise funds for the baseball program, said Jim Schlossnagle, head coach.

    “Anything we can raise to improve the program for equipment, travel and scholarships,” Schlossnagle said.

    Schlossnagle said he is excited about having Garciaparra as the featured speaker.

    “Nomar has done everything you can as a player. He’s been an All-Star, played in a World Series, played on an Olympic team,” Schlossnagle said. “He’s a fan of college baseball and the college experience, and very often that’s what you want your guys to hear.”

    Chuck Lamendola, the play-by-play broadcaster for TCU baseball, said Garciaparra’s appearance is valuable to the players in the program.

    “It gives them the opportunity to see what it takes to achieve the kind of success Nomar has,” Lamendola said. “Obviously, Nomar was very successful on the big-league level, and most of the players on the team aspire to do that.”

    Garciaparra, who currently works at ESPN, was a two-time All-American at Georgia Tech in 1993 and 1994. He led the Yellow Jackets to the 1994 National Championship game against Oklahoma.

    The Boston Red Sox selected Garciaparra in the first round of the 1994 MLB draft. He played 14 seasons in the major leagues. After spending nine years with the Boston Red Sox (1996-2004), he spent two seasons (2004-05) with the Chicago Cubs, three (2006-08) with the Los Angeles Dodgers and one (2009) with the Oakland Athletics.

    Since retiring, Garciaparra joined ESPN as an analyst on Baseball Tonight. He also commentates on Wednesday Night Baseball and during the College World Series.

    He was on the call for ESPN during TCU’s Super Regional win against Texas in 2010, which clinched the Frogs’ first College World Series berth.

    The banquet will also honor two prior championship squads: the 1994 SWC Champion team and the 2004 Conference USA Tournament Champions. Schlossnagle was in his first year at TCU when he guided the Frogs to the 2004 tournament title.

    “I can’t wait to see them again,” Schlossnagle said.