Tonight I attended my first ever season opening baseball banquet at the Joyce Fieldhouse. The cost was very cheap ($40) and for that you got dinner, a season ticket, the media guide, access to all the players for autographs, and autographed 8×10’s of speakers Craig Counsell, and Jim Leyland. The night was pretty fun, and both speakers were very good. Jim Leyland was not at all the kind of speaker that I thought he would be. From square one he was showing his sense of humor, and he kept it going. He did shock the crowd though during the question and answer session when he was asked who was the hardest working player that he ever coached. He seemed hesitant to answer, but finally said “Barry Bonds.” You could almost hear the gasp from the partisan crowd. I think they were all expecting him to name Counsell. One of the cool parts of the evening is the fact that the players are spread throughout the crowd with everyone else. It really lets you get to know them. Sitting next to me was freshman Billy Boockford. He is expected to start in right field this year as a freshman, and it was cool to watch him adjust to kids walking up to him throughout the night seeking autographs. One player that was bombarded was Evan Sharpley. He is a first baseman that has not seen much time, but is more well known because he was Brady Quinn’s backup on the football team last year. Watching the videos and talking to the players made me wish that I could be sitting in the bleachers enjoying a nice spring day watching baseball. I am sure that it will come soon enough though. This was a fun event that I am sure that I will catch in the future.