Vol 57 No. 1 | Jan. 2005
Crosby to Speak at Leadoff Dinner;
Dirtbags Ranked High Once Again
He led off for the Dirtbags and he walked off with the American League 2004 Rookie of the Year, and now former CSULB great Bobby Crosby will be the keynote speaker at the team's Leadoff Dinner on Jan. 20 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in downtown Long Beach.
Crosby follows in the footsteps of another former Dirtbag and American League MVP, Jason Giambi, who spoke at the sold-out event last season. The night also will feature the presentation of the Dick Howser Award to National Player of the Year Jered Weaver, a standout for CSULB in 2004. Crosby, a first-round pick of the Oakland Athletics in the 2001 draft, fell one vote shy of a unanimous selection as the junior circuit's Rookie of the Year after leading AL rookies in hits (130), doubles (34) and walks (58). Crosby also had 22 homers and 64 RBIs to go along with a .239 average.
Those interested in attending the event can call the Athletic Association at 562/985-4662. This will be the 13th Leadoff Dinner kicking off the 49er season, which has featured past keynote speakers with such as baseball notables as Giambi, Dave Snow, Tommy Lasorda, Sparky Anderson, Mike Scioscia, Tony Muser, Bill Russell, Bert Blyleven and Terry Collins.
The Dirtbags open the season on the road, at Arizona State on Jan. 28, and fans can listen to the opener on the team's flagship, KWRM-1370 AM. The team's annual alumni game is scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 22.
CSULB continues its rich tradition of being ranked in the top-25 to start the season as Collegiate Baseball had the Dirtbags No. 14 in its pre-season national rankings while Baseball America had the squad at No. 22 in its preseason poll.
The 49ers have now been ranked in the top-25 to begin the season in 13 of the last 16 years. The Dirtbags finished the 2004 season 40-21 and appeared in their second-straight Super Regional. Last year was the second time in school-history the team produced back-to-back 40-win campaigns.
Individually, the Dirtbags featured two pre-season All-Americans, according to Collegiate Baseball -- left-handed starter Cesar Ramos, who was a first-team selection, and shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, who was a third-team pick. Baseball America made Tulowitzki a second-team pre-season All-America pick, and Ramos was named to the third-team. In November, Tulowitzki, Ramos and closer Neil Jamison were named pre-season All-Americans by the National Collegiate Baseball Writer's Association.
"With the experience Cesar and Troy got with Team USA this summer, I know they came in ready to handle anything. They know they are the go-to guys and with others, took the team and said it's our time," said fourth-year coach Mike Weathers in this year's team preview. "The team chemistry is as good as any team we've had, the young arms have been impressive in the fall, and the staff is a lot deeper. The defense is right there, backing up our pitching, and our hitters have bought into our philosophy as good as any team I've coached. We are also going be able to run a little more. I really like this team."
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