Philadelphia Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg has been announced as the first guest for the 2014 Phillies Winter Banquet at the Crowne Plaza Reading Hotel on Tuesday, January 21 starting at 6:30 p.m. with doors opening at 5:30 p.m. More guests from the Phillies organization are expected to be announced at a later date.
A Hall of Fame second baseman who played with Chicago Cubs for most of his career, Sandberg became the fourth Reading alum to go on to manage the Philadelphia Phillies when he was named the team's interim manager on August 16th. The interim tag was removed over a month later when he was named the permanent manager by Phillies General Manager Ruben Amaro Jr.
Sandberg originally was drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies in 1978. He played with the Reading Phillies in 1980 where he hit .310 with 11 home runs and 21 doubles in 129 games. He later was inducted to the Reading Baseball Hall of Fame in 1991.
The rest, as they say, is history. Sandberg was acquired by the Cubs alongside current Phillies bench coach Larry Bowa in a deal with the Phillies for Ivan DeJesus. He went on to win the 1984 National League MVP and was a 10-time All-Star. He had a career.285 batting average, 282 home runs, 1,061 RBIs in 2,164 games over his 15 seasons at Wrigley Field. He also won nine Gold Glove Award and seven Silver Slugger Awards.
As the chief fundraising event for the Fightin Phils' non-profit organization Baseballtown Charities, the Phillies Winter Banquet will see the crowning of the 2014 King of Baseballtown. The event will also feature an auction featuring sports collectibles and other items, raffles, highlight videos, and more.
Seating and table reservations for the annual event are available now by calling 610-370-BALL, logging on Fightins.com, or by stopping by the Fightins Ticket Office located at FirstEnergy Stadium. Individual reservations for the annual event cost $65 for adults and include your dinner. For the first time ever in 2014, there will also be a children's ticket available at $25 that includes a chicken finger and fries meal for those 14 and under.
Table reservations of 10 people for the banquet cost $600 and feature an invitation for a complimentary cocktail party from 5:00 to 6:00 p.m. In addition, the person who reserves the table will also receive two passes to a private session with the banquet's guests.
All season ticket holders who reserve a seat or table for the Phillies Winter Banquet will also receive an invite to the complimentary cocktail party.
Proceeds from the event benefit Baseballtown Charities, a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization founded to keep baseball alive in Reading through programs that honor the city's rich baseball history and secure its future by giving more kids the opportunity to play and learn from the game's life lessons. Since being founded in 2006, the organization constructed Gordon Hoodak Stadium at Lauer's Park, a $900,000 youth ballpark that sits on the grounds of Lauer's Park Elementary, in 2006 and added $90,000 in renovations to Baer Park in 2013.