Jan. 29, 2013
WACO, Texas – Baylor baseball will host the fifth-annual Meet the Team Dinner on Monday, Feb. 11 in the Galloway Suite at Floyd Casey Stadium. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., and the event is scheduled to being at 7 p.m.
Former Baylor players Michael Griffin, Ryan LaMotta, Jeff Mandel, Steven White and Paul Witt will be the guests of honor, and “Voice of the Bears” John Morris will serve as M.C. Tickets are available for $25 and can be purchased online at http://www.baylor.edu/network/events or by calling 866-281-9444.
All five former players were four-year letterwinners for the Bears who claimed Big 12 Championships during their Baylor career, and four of the five were on Baylor’s 2005 College World Series team.
Griffin (2002-05) was a 14th-round selection of the Cincinnati Reds in the 2005 MLB Draft. He advanced to the Triple-A level, earning all-star selections in 2006 and 2007. Griffin finished his Baylor career as the Bears’ all-time leader in games played and at-bats, ranked second in hits, doubles and RBI, third in total bases and fifth in runs scored.
Mandel (2004-07) was drafted in the 19th round by the Washington Nationals in 2007. He’s advanced to the Triple-A level with the Nationals and has split time between Double-A Harrisburg and Triple-A Syracuse over each of the last three seasons. Mandel, a two-way player at Baylor, is perhaps best remembered for his game-winning home run in the 12th inning that also made him the winning pitcher in the 2005 Waco Regional championship game.
LaMotta (2003-06) was chosen by the Detroit Tigers in the 37th round of the 2006 MLB Draft, but he chose not to sign a professional contract. He finished his Baylor career ranked second all-time in appearances and tied for fourth in saves. LaMotta provided one of the most memorable moments in Baylor baseball history when he waved off head coach Steve Smith with the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth against Arizona State in the 2006 Houston Regional. Smith elected not to go to the bullpen, and LaMotta escaped the jam, completing his 8.0-inning relief outing with a 3-2 Baylor victory.
White (2000-03) was a fourth-round draft pick of the New York Yankees in 2003, and he pitched at the Triple-A level in 2007 and 2008 before retiring. White finished his Baylor career as the Bears’ all-time leader in starts and innings pitched, and he ranked second all-time in wins and strikeouts.
Witt (2002-05) started all 70 games at shortstop during the Bears' 2005 World Series season. He was named 2005 Waco Regional Most Outstanding Player, and he had the game-winning RBI on a walk-off fielder's choice in Baylor's dramatic comeback win against Tulane at the College World Series. That RBI completed a rally from a 7-0 seventh-inning deficit. Witt was a 15th-round draft pick of the Florida Marlins, and he played three years in the minor leagues.
The 2013 Bears return 20 letterwinners from a team that went 49-17 and won the 2012 Big 12 Championship. Baylor opens the season Feb. 15 at UC Irvine, and the Bears’ home opener is Feb. 19 against Texas State at Baylor Ballpark.