University of Louisville baseball alumni Nick Burdi and Josh Rogers will be the featured guests at the 2019 Leadoff Dinner presented by Republic Bank on Friday, Jan. 25 at the Louisville Marriott Downtown. Each of the former Cardinals made their Major League Baseball debuts in 2018 creating another captivating backdrop for this year’s edition of the Louisville Baseball Leadoff Dinner as the players share some of their favorite collegiate and professional memories.
The annual dinner will begin at 7 p.m., ET in the Grand Ballroom at the Louisville Marriott Downtown. Tickets for the Leadoff Dinner are $65 each and should be purchased online at GoCards.com. Tables of 10 for the event are also available for $650. The deadline to register is Jan. 18, 2019, while more information can be obtained by contacting Christy Waltrip at (502) 852-0706 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The 2019 Leadoff Dinner guests were among eight Louisville baseball alumni to see MLB game action during the 2018 season and 34 former Cardinals assigned to professional teams at the conclusion of the season.
RHP, PITTSBURGH PIRATES
A righthanded pitcher for the Cardinals from 2012-14, Burdi made his MLB debut with the Pittsburgh Pirates on Sept. 11, 2018 against the St. Louis Cardinals. Overall, the native of Downers Grove, Illinois made two relief appearances for the Pirates during his first season with the organization. While at Louisville, Burdi separated himself among the nation’s top relievers as the 2014 National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Stopper of the Year. The two-time All-American closed his junior season with a school record 18 saves, a 3-1 record, a 0.49 ERA and 65 strikeouts in 37.0 innings pitched.
As a sophomore in 2013, Burdi registered the second highest save total in school history with 16 while finishing with a 0.76 ERA while earning All-America recognition. Along with his single season record, Burdi is also Louisville’s career saves leader with 34 and No. 1 in career ERA at 1.79. A member of back-to-back College World Series teams during his final two seasons, Burdi was selected 46th overall in the second round of the 2014 MLB Draft by the Minnesota Twins.
LHP, BALTIMORE ORIOLES
A lefthanded pitcher for Louisville during the 2014-15 seasons, Rogers made his MLB debut with a victory in the starting role for the Baltimore Orioles against the Toronto Blue Jays on Aug. 28, 2018. Rogers had a pair of strikeouts and allowed three earned run in five innings for the win in that first career outing. Overall, he made three starts in his first season with the Orioles after being traded from the New York Yankees on July 24, 2018.
In his two collegiate seasons with the Cardinals, the New Albany, Indiana native had an 11-4 record and a 3.46 ERA with 129 strikeouts in 145.2 innings and 30 appearances, including 25 starts. During his sophomore season in 2015, Rogers registered an 8-1 record with a 3.36 ERA and 82 strikeouts in 16 starts and 93.2 innings pitched. Rogers concluded his collegiate career after signing professionally with the Yankees, who selected him in the 11th round of the 2015 MLB Draft.
ABOUT THE LOUISVILLE BASEBALL LEADOFF DINNER
Since its debut in 1996, the Louisville Baseball Leadoff Dinner helps launch the baseball season by bringing some of the biggest names in the game to the Derby City. Last year’s event was headline by a pair of Cardinals alumni in Chicago White Sox outfielder Adam Engel and lefthanded pitcher Kyle McGrath from the San Diego Padres. Other previous guests include Adam Duvall, Jose Bautista, Josh Hamilton, Andy Pettitte, Joe Girardi, Derek Jeter, Don Mattingly, Alex Rodriguez, Tino Martinez, Scott Rolen, Tommy Lasorda, Chad Green, Chris Coghlan, Jeff Francoeur, Sean Green, Nick Swisher, Adam Wainwright, Chris Burke, Chris Dominguez, Justin Marks, Trystan Magnuson, Zack Cozart, B.J. Rosenberg, Cody Ege, Matt Koch and Rick Sweet.
The 2019 Louisville Baseball Leadoff Dinner presented by Republic Bank will be the 13th under the guidance of head coach Dan McDonnell, who has placed the Cardinals among the nation’s elite programs with four College World Series berths, seven NCAA Super Regional appearances, 11 NCAA Regional bids, eight regular season conference championships, two conference tournament titles, 37 All-Americans and 554 wins overall in his 12 seasons.
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