RENO, Nev. – Former Major League Player, manager and television analyst Bobby Valentine will be the featured speaker at the 29th annual Bobby Dolan Baseball Dinner on Monday, Jan. 21 at John Ascuaga’s Nugget Hotel and Casino.
Tickets are $150 per person for the dinner and Dugout Club members are eligible for ticket discounts based upon membership level. The evening includes a sit-down dinner prepared by the John Ascuaga’s Nugget staff. No host cocktails start at 5:30 p.m. with dinner served at 6:30 p.m. A baseball memorabilia auction and a message from the featured speaker follow the dinner. For event tickets call Judy Cail at 775-682-6901 or the baseball office at 775-682-6978.
Originally, Valentine was the number five overall draft pick of the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1968 MLB draft. In September of 1969 he made his first appearance for the Dodgers at just 19 years old and scored three runs as a pinch runner but did not have an official at bat.
He was the Pioneer League MVP in 1968 playing for the Ogden Dodgers and the 1970 Pacific Coast League MVP after batting .340 for the Spokane Indians. While in Spokane he played for legendary manager Tommy Lasorda.
Valentine’s first full year in the majors was in 1971 and in his 10 year career he compiled a .260 average playing for the Dodgers, Angels, Padres, Mets and Mariners. In 1973 he suffered a multiple compound leg fracture after catching his spikes in the fence at Anaheim Stadium attempting to catch a home run ball hit by Dick Green. The injury never fully healed and robbed him of his speed.
In 1985 he was named the manager of the Texas Rangers, 32 games into the season. In 1986 he finished second in American League Manager of the Year voting and coached the Rangers until the midpoint of the 1992 season. He spent seven years coaching the New York Mets from 1996-2002.
The 1999 Mets earned the wildcard spot and defeated the Arizona Diamondbacks before falling to the Atlanta Braves in six games. The 2000 Mets club again earned a wildcard spot and won the National League pennant before falling in five games to the New York Yankees in the World Series.
His most recent managerial position was 2012 with the Boston Red Sox. In his 16 year managerial career he compiled a record of 1,186-1,165.
In 1995 he coached the Chiba Lotte Marines of the Japanese Pacific League and returned for a second stint from 2004-09. In 2005 he led the Marines to their first Pacific League pennant in 31 years. The team went on to win the Japan Series sweeping the Hanshin Tigers in four games. The Marines also won the inaugural Asia Series by defeating the Samsung Lions of the Korea Baseball Organization in November of 2005.
Valentine has also spent time as an analyst for ESPN on Baseball Tonight and during postseason play.