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Tim Kurkjian, Javier Lopez Headline UVa Baseball's Fundraiser - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Tim Kurkjian, Javier Lopez Headline UVa Baseball's Annual Fundraiser

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There was a record crowd Friday night at John Paul Jones Arena for the UVa baseball team's annual fundraiser.  The Cavalier players signed autographs and lots of UVa memorabilia was auctioned off.

Several former Cavalier players were there including pitcher Javier Lopez, who has won three world championships, one with the Red Sox and two with the Giants.  ESPN baseball analyst Tim Kurkjian was a guest speaker.

Lopez played baseball at UVa from 1998-2002 before the program became nationally prominent under Brian O'Connor.  Lopez looked back on those days at UVa.

He says, "Things were not going the way they had hoped and they were going to cut the program and to have the fundraising and the money come in to save the program and to have Coach O'Connor come in and take this program to heights its never seen before it's a testament to his work ethic and the players and the continuity and the players respond."

Tim Kurkjian says, "Not to sound corny, but I love baseball and I think college baseball is one of our really growing institutions in this country and I think its great, when you look at where college baseball was 30 years ago, facilities and everything else and you compare it to where we are today its really great."

With no big league players voted into the baseball hall of fame this year, we asked Kurkjian what the Hall of Fame and its voters should do with players suspected of using performance enhancing drugs.

Kurkjian says, "I can see letting the guys in and understanding this is an era wide issue, I can certainly understand keeping anyone out that cheated, I'm just trying to look at it as fairly as I can. It seems to me in 150 years of baseball there's been a lot of cheating going on and this is just another form of it and we're going to see another form of it in the next 20 years who knows in what way."

As for Lopez, a member of the reigning world series champion Giants, he says he was glad to come back to UVa Friday night to speak to the crowd.

Lopez says, "Its been a long crazy road not only for me professionally but coming from the school (UVA) it wasn't always the easiest to get there and finish with my degree here that's something that I'll always remember and cherish and being able to be here and help out. He's done a great job reaching out to all the alumni and to help him out in this situation is really my pleasure."

 

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