The Cal Poly Pomona baseball team kicked off its 2010 season with some major league fans its corner. At a fundraiser dinner on Feb. 6, athletics director Brian Swanson announced the largest gift in team history – $105,000 to improve Scolinos field from baseball alumnus Daniel Andrews, ’90, food marketing and agribusiness management.
The donation was just one of many highlights of the evening. Angels manager Mike Scioscia was the featured speaker and regaled the crowd of 115 with stories from his Dodger days and experiences with the Angels. Scioscia led a spirited live auction for some exclusive baseball ticket packages that netted $7,100 for the Broncos.
In all, the dinner event at Buca di Beppo Restaurant in Claremont raised about $20,000 for the baseball team.
Ashman said Andrews’ gift is a step in the right direction for the team and the university. “Having lights will allow the student-athletes to miss less class time and allow more of the student body, faculty, staff and administration to watch our games. It will also allow for better community involvement.”
Andrews, a former Bronco baseball MVP, said the passing of former baseball coach John Scolinos motivated him to donate to the university. “I felt it was emotionally the right time.”
In his speech, Scioscia talked about leadership and motivation, encouraging students to be good role models. His message hit home for many athletes and energized the team, Ashman said.
Travis Kelly, liberal studies senior and a pitcher, said Scioscia’s experience and vast amount of knowledge helps young players like him. “In the baseball world, when someone like Mike comes to talk, you’re going to listen,” he said.
“You don’t get to hear from a manager of that stature talk very often,” added Tyson Edwards, psychology junior and second baseman.
Brandon Raphael, director of development for athletics, hopes the dinner’s success will help spark an annual tradition of intimate fundraising events that benefit the various sports teams. He said that Andrews’ donation is an important lead gift and conversation starter as the university raises funds to improve Scolinos field, which includes adding restrooms, lighted batting cages and a clubhouse.