UVa Baseball Holds 15th Annual Step Up to the Plate Fundraiser
Major League Baseball Hall of Famer Ozzie Smith was the keynote speaker at UVa's 15th annual 'Step Up to the Plate' fundraiser at John Paul Jones Arena Saturday night.
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - It was a packed house at John Paul Jones Arena for the 15th annual Step Up to the Plate fundraising dinner to benefit the Virginia baseball team on Saturday night.
Major League Baseball Hall of Famer Ozzie Smith was the keynote speaker.
The event had a silent auction on items like autographed jersey's and pictures, as well as a live auction for dinner at Brian O'Connor's house, a road trip with the Cavaliers, and a trip to the MLB All-Star game.
Former Wahoo and current Orioles pitcher Tyler Wilson spoke about his time at UVa, and the pride of watching his former team win the National Championship in 2015.
"I'm talking about that beat your chest, want to run 20 miles, climb to the top of the mountain, and scream how proud you are to be a Virginia Cavalier, type of proud," says Wilson.
Highlights from Ozzie Smith's career were shown on the scoreboard before the 15-time All-Star and 13-time Gold Glove winner took to the podium.
Smith had a message for everyone in attendance, but especially the UVa players.
"Work extremely hard at your craft," says Smith, "and when the opportunity presents itself, be ready for it. Success happens when opportunity and preparation meet."
'The Wizard' had to walk-on to his college team, while his high school teammate, Eddie Murray, was selected in the MLB Draft.
But Smith noted, "I did go into the Hall of Fame the year before he did, so I guess we're even."
The Virginia baseball season begins on February 17th in Charleston, South Carolina.