It's that time of year again!
The ticket delivery to season ticketholders in Clemson has become an annual tradition. And on Saturday morning, Tiger players and coaches piled into cars and delivered those tickets to smiling faces of dozens of loyal baseball fans.
Head coach Monte Lee was in a group with four players, Charlie Barnes, Alex Eubanks, Jordan Greene and Weston Jackson. The Tiger mascot even came along. The first stop at the Fulmers got the delivery off to a great start.
The group ended their route in downtown Clemson with stops at Judge Keller's Store, Hubbard-Young Pharmacy and M.H. Frank. It's always great to our fans excited to meet their favorite Tigers.
Dinner With the Tigers, Clemson's annual preseason banquet, got an early start right after practice when guest speaker Jim Abbott met with the team for 30 minutes in the player facility auditorium. Abbott, who starred for Michigan, Team USA in the 1988 Olympics and in the majors with the Angels and Yankees among others, spoke of how special his time was in college and with the USA National Team.
Abbott also went in detail about the ninth inning of his no-hitter with the Yankees against the Indians in 1993. His message of trust and process was particularly applicable to his no-hitter, because days earlier, he was "shelled" by that same Cleveland team.
Abbott and the Tigers moved over to Burton Gallery at Littlejohn Coliseum for the banquet. After Abbott signed autographs and guests bid on memorabilia items, everyone gathered for the meal.
The program began with Bob Mahony presenting last year's freshmen with letterman jackets. Lee then listed the accomplishments of the 2016 ACC champions followed by the season highlight video, then the 2017 Tigers were introduced. Lee, who also thanked his support staff and all involved in the program, went in detail about his goals for the 2017 Tigers with his passionate style and booming voice.
Abbott concluded the evening with his speech, highlighted by two points...creativity and belief. Abbott explained how he used creativity as a youth to overcome many challenges he faced with only one hand. "Don't let your circumstances define you," was a message that resonated with many.
He also emphasized the necessity of belief in order to succeed in all aspects of life, including on the mound. After his 33-minute presentation, he received a standing ovation from the audience.