In Photos: BGSU welcomes Orel Hershiser to the 2024 Baseball First Pitch Dinner
The BGSU and MLB great has chosen to throw his support behind BGSU baseball and the greater University mission
BGSU Athletics Hall of Famer Orel Hershiser returned to his alma mater on Saturday, Jan. 27 and spent his weekend giving tips to BGSU baseball players and raising awareness of the program during the First Pitch Dinner.
The Dodgers 1988 World Series champion and MVP, who threw a no-hitter for BGSU in 1979, built his career after baseball as a business owner and award-winning broadcaster. Hershiser is now focusing on helping the BGSU baseball team and his alma mater in general, saying it’s a lot of fun to pass it on and pay it forward.
He said his involvement goes beyond the baseball team and he hopes that the increased profile and awareness translate into benefits for the University as a whole. “I’m no longer ‘from here.’ I’m part of this again,” he said. “I’m standing on the shoulders of the gentlemen and ladies that built the Schmidthorst College of Business, that built the field house, that built the Bowen-Thompson Student Union, that built the Stroh Center, and that are upgrading the Slater Family Ice Arena right now.”
BGSU Baseball First Pitch Dinner 2024 with MLB great Orel Hershiser
The Lenhart Grand Ballroom was packed with notable guests for the First Pitch Dinner, including BGSU President Rodney K. Rogers and University Advocate Sandy Earle, Director of Athletics Derek van der Merwe, head baseball coach Kyle Hallock and current and past BGSU baseball players. The evening was hosted by alumnus Jay Crawford ’87, currently an anchor at WKYC-TV in Cleveland, who previously worked for ESPN for a 14-year run that included hosting Cold Pizza – the show that morphed into First Take – and co-anchoring SportsCenter for the network.
Earlier in the weekend, Hershiser sat in on a team practice session, giving tips on mechanics to BGSU ballplayers. In addition to helping with the Falcons, Hershiser also met with Bowling Green youth and high school ball players and their coaches, dispensing wisdom and signing autographs.
In a gesture of thanks during the First Pitch Dinner, AD van der Merwe presented Hershiser with a framed photo from his Nov. 14, 2023, visit to BGSU that was signed by members of the team and also gave him a Falcons-logoed base.
During that November visit, Hershiser returned to the BGSU campus for the first time in years and shared his entrepreneurial knowledge with BGSU business students at the Schmidthorst College of Business. He also spent some time in the broadcast booth during the national ESPN football broadcast as the Falcons took on the Toledo Rockets at Doyt L. Perry Stadium.
Updated: 02/01/2024 11:24AM