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Baseball: Banquet will feature Samardzija, Scioscia

Michael Bryan | Thursday, February 5, 2009

Former Notre Dame star and current Chicago Cubs pitcher Jeff Samardzija will return to campus today with Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim manager Mike Scioscia as keynote speakers at tonight’s eighth annual opening night dinner.

Samardzija made his major league debut with the Cubs last season, going 1-0 with a 2.28 ERA in 26 appearances out of the Chicago bullpen. Samardzija went 8-2 in his final season with the Irish in 2006, and was a first-team All-Big East selection.

The Valparaiso, Ind., native was also a star wide receiver for the Irish football team, setting team single-season records for receiving yards and touchdown catches. Samardzija was named a first team All-American after helping Notre Dame to a 9-3 record in 2006.

Scioscia has managed the Angels for nine seasons, and has led the team to the playoffs five of the past seven years. He has tallied a 797-661 record in Los Az ngeles, and led the franchise to its only World Series title in 2002.

Tickets are still available for the popular event at und.com or at the Joyce Center box office, and the night will begin with a “ballpark style” dinner at 7 p.m. in the Joyce Fieldhouse. Admission is $50 for adults and $30 for students, youths, and seniors, and includes season tickets, autographed pictures of each speaker, and the opportunity to win several door prizes.

Attendees will be seated with current Notre Dame players, who will be available for autographs before the event from 6 to 6:45 p.m.