The Valdosta State baseball and softball programs will host the first annual Diamond Dinner on Saturday, January 19, 2013.
The Diamond will feature a social hour to mingle with players and coaches, refreshments, tickets for cocktails, and silent and live auctions for a variety of rare sports memorabilia.
“One of the things that is going to be really unique about this event is how much memorabilia that we’ll have there that you cannot find anywhere else,” Valdosta State head coach Greg Guilliams said.
Among the items to be auctioned include memorabilia signed by former 2006 World Series Most Valuable Player David Eckstein and Washington Nationals third basemen Ryan Zimmerman, as well as fine jewelry from Steel’s Jewelry.
In addition, there will also be a guided turkey hunt and an opportunity to bid on tickets to NASCAR’s premier event, the Daytona 500, which include four days, four races, and pit road passes.
Tickets to the Diamond Dinner will be $40 and proceeds will go to the VSU softball and baseball programs.
“All of the money and proceeds go to both programs,” Valdosta State head coach Greg Guilliams said. “The [proceeds] will be split between the two programs.”
The Diamond Dinner will help raise money for team equipment, uniforms, and other various necessities for both programs.
“All of the sports teams [at Valdosta State] have to raise money,” Guilliams said. “Not one penny for any of the athletic programs here at Valdosta State comes from the tax-players.”
“We’ve been looking for different avenues to raise money,” Guilliams said. “This, I think, was the right time for us to do [the Diamond Dinner].”
The Diamond Dinner will also feature a guest speaker-Major League Baseball umpire Sam Holbrook.
Holbrook, a twelve-year veteran, has called numerous playoff series, including four consecutive league championship series from 2008 to 2012 and the 2010 World Series.
Coach Guilliams and his brother, Todd, who serves as an assistant coach, have a personal connection to Holbrook.
“Sam went to Eastern Kentucky,” Guilliams explained. “Todd played with him there and I coached him. The first year I coached in college, Sam was a senior so obviously I’ve known Sam a long time.”
While the Diamond Dinner is the inaugural event for the baseball and softball programs, the event will be more about raising money rather than focusing on honoring the respective programs.
“It’s not really about honoring [the teams] at this event,” Valdosta State head softball coach Thomas Macera said. “It’s there to try to raise money for both programs.”
Macera led the Lady Blazers softball team to a 58-5 record last season en route to becoming Division II national champions and understand that many people will acknowledge the team’s accomplishments.
“I know people will want to congratulate the girls that are still here from last year,” Macera said. “But, the focus of the Diamond Dinner is really to raise some money for these kids.”
The first annual Diamond Dinner, presented by VSU baseball and softball, and will being at 5:30 p.m. in the Student Union Ballroom.