Maddon, Yankee rookies headline USF banquet
Rays manager Joe Maddon, Hall of Fame pitcher Jim Palmer and Yankees phenoms Joba Chamberlain and Phil Hughes are among the celebrity guests for USF's Leadoff Banquet on Wednesday night in Tampa.
The banquet, hosted by USF baseball coach Lelo Prado and softball coach Ken Eriksen, had a strong Yankees presence last season, starting with Prado's brother-in-law and volunteer assistant, Tino Martinez, and Yankee stars such as Derek Jeter and Jorge Posada. The connection between the two programs also includes USF alum Dave Eiland, who is the Yankees' pitching coach and will also be a guest at the banquet, along with Martinez and former Yankees pitcher Tom "Flash" Gordon.
The banquet will be held at the Pepin Center on N. 50th Street in Tampa, with a reception starting at 6:30 p.m. and dinner following at 7:30. A limited number of tickets were still available Tuesday afternoon, with seats costing $75, or $800 for a full table. For information, call the Bulls Club at (813) 974-7494.
The Bulls and Yankees will meet for the first time on Friday, Feb. 29, in an exhibition at Legends Field to open the spring training schedule for the Yankees.