Eye on the U

Ryan Braun to speak at Miami Hurricanes’ First Pitch Banquet

FILE - Former Miami baseball great Ryan Braun, now with the Milwaukee Brewers, will speak at the UM First Pitch Banquet on Feb. 10.
FILE - Former Miami baseball great Ryan Braun, now with the Milwaukee Brewers, will speak at the UM First Pitch Banquet on Feb. 10. AP

One of the Miami Hurricanes’ all-time baseball greats is returning as a guest speaker next month at UM’s annual First Pitch Banquet.

Six-time Major League Baseball All-Star and former Canes’ All-American Ryan Braun will return to Coral Gables on Feb. 10 at the Watsco Center Fieldhouse on campus for the introduction of the 2017 UM baseball team, followed by dinner and his speech.

“The time I spent at the University of Miami was among the best baseball and life experiences I’ve ever had,’’ Braun, who has a career .304 batting average with 285 career home runs and 937 RBI in 10 seasons with the Milwaukee Brewers, said in a UM news release. “Every opportunity I have to get back is special for me…”

As a Hurricane infielder/designated hitter, Braun – the 2005 ACC Player of the Year – hit .388 with 18 home runs and 76 RBI in his final season, when he was an ’05 finalist for the Golden Spikes Award.

“I’m still very good friends with a lot of the guys I played with,’’ said Braun, the fifth overall pick in the ’05 MLB Draft. “…. All the [UM] guys who have gone on to play professionally, for all of us, there’s a special connection, a special sense of pride…’’

Individual tickets are $85, with tables for eight $680 and ‘Premier Tables’ $1,000. To purchase tickets, click here. The first 250 guests registered will receive a free Adidas Miami hat at banquet check-in.

The program begins at 6 p.m. with a cocktail reception, followed at 7 p.m. by the team introduction, dinner and Braun’s presentation.

“I’m very excited to have Ryan back,’’ UM coach Jim Morris said. “He’s one of the truest definitions of a student-athlete you could ever have.’’

The UM baseball season begins against Rutgers at Mark Light Field at Alex Rodriguez Park at 7 p.m. Feb. 17.

The Fan Fest and Alumni Game is at 4 p.m. Feb. 11.

For more information on the First Pitch Banquet, call the Alumni Programs office at 305-284-6480 or 305-284-9517.

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