DURHAM, N.C. – Former Blue Devil great and Oakland A’s first baseman Nate Freiman will serve as the keynote speaker at Duke baseball’s second annual First Pitch Banquet. The event is set for 5:30 p.m. Feb. 8, 2014 in Scharf Hall in the Coach K Center for Academic Excellence.
“Amanda and I can’t wait to return to Duke in February,” said Freiman. “It is an extremely special place for both of us and full of fond memories. I am really looking forward to getting to see past and present Duke Blue Devils at the First Pitch Banquet, and wish to thank the Duke baseball program for giving me the opportunity to share some of my experiences with them.”
The only first team Academic All-America in Duke baseball history, Freiman enjoyed four standout seasons in Durham from 2006-09. He finished second all-time in batting average (.356), which is also the highest clip among all four-year Duke players. The Blue Devils’ all-time home run leader with 43 career bombs, Freiman also ranks fifth in school history in RBI (180) and seventh in doubles (51).
“We are thrilled that Nate and Amanda will join Duke baseball for the First Pitch Banquet Feb. 8 as part of the Baseball Reunion Weekend (Feb. 7-9),” said head coach Chris Pollard. “Nate was the epitome of a Duke student-athlete during his time on campus. His success in Major League Baseball serves to show our current and future players that Duke University provides a platform for the highest level of achievement in both athletics and academics. Having Nate back as our keynote speaker will certainly add fuel to the fire as we kick off the 2014 season.”
Freiman was taken by the San Diego Padres in the 2009 MLB Draft and made his Major League debut this past season with the AL West champion Oakland A’s. In 80 games, he hit .274 with eight doubles, four home runs and 24 RBI, earning AL Rookie of the Month honors after batting .351 in May.
Tickets to the First Pitch Banquet are currently available via GoDuke.com/tickets. Individual tickets can be purchased for $60, while corporate tables are available for $300.
Duke kicks off the 2014 campaign with a three-game home stand Feb. 14-16 against 2013 America East champion Binghamton at Jack Coombs Field.