The Arkansas State baseball team and supporters will gather to celebrate the upcoming season at the 2019 Grand Slam Banquet Tuesday, Feb. 12 at First National Bank Arena. Doors for the event open at 5 p.m. Former Major League pitcher and World Series champion Jonathan Papelbon will be the featured guest and will take part in a question-and-answer segment with the voice of A-State Baseball Matt Stolz.
A native of Jacksonville, Fla., Papelbon attended the same high school as current A-State baseball coach Tommy Raffo and was later recruited by Raffo to play at Mississippi State. He was drafted by the Boston Red Sox in 2003 Major League Baseball Draft and made his MLB debut in 2005. Papelbon currently sits ninth on the all-time MLB saves list with 368 career saves and ranks holds the record for most saves for both the Boston Red Sox and Philadelphia Phillies organizations. He helped lead Boston to the 2007 World Series title and was named the MLB Delivery Man of the Year Award after recording 37 saves, a 1.85 ERA and 84 strikeouts. He finished the year with four postseason saves, including three during the World Series against the Rockies.
For his career, Papelbon registered 41 career wins with a 2.44 ERA to go along with his 368 career saves. Following his tenure with the Red Sox, he signed with the Philadelphia Phillies in 2012 and tallied 113 saves in three and a half seasons with the club. He was traded to the Washington Nationals just before the trade the deadline in 2015 and remained with the club through the 2016 season.
Several ticket options are available, including Grand Slam tables for $600 and a Heavy Hitter package for $1,000 that includes a premium table location, an autographed baseball by Papelbon, and an exclusive reception with a personal photo with Papelbon prior to the event. Table options include eight guests or seven with an A-State baseball player. Individual tickets are available for $75 and youth tickets (13 and under) are available for $25. The event will also feature a live and silent auction, dinner, a chance to meet the team and a 50/50 raffle. The team will also be presenting the Ed Way Heart and Hustle Award.
For more information or to purchase tickets contact the Red Wolves Foundation at 870-972-2401 or send an email to RedWolvesFoundation@astate.edu, or contact Tommy Raffo at 870-680-4337 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Attendees will also have a chance to purchase season tickets for the upcoming campaign at the event. For the latest on A-State baseball follow the team by logging onto the Arkansas State Baseball Facebook page or by following the team on Twitter (@AStateBaseball) and Instagram (arkansasstatebaseball).