Record-turnout, Patrick Renna headlines A-State Grand Slam Banquet

A record turnout spotlights the 2023 Grand Slam Banquet
A record turnout spotlights the 2023 Grand Slam Banquet(KAIT-TV)
Published: Dec. 20, 2022 at 12:55 PM CST|Updated: Feb. 13, 2023 at 9:37 PM CST
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One of the most iconic baseball film actors of all time headlined Arkansas State baseball’s annual Grand Slam Banquet Monday.

Patrick Renna had roles in several TV shows, including Home Improvement, ER, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and Bones, but baseball fans will know him for his role as ‘Ham’ Porter in the 1993 movie The Sandlot.

Several items were spread out for a silent auction, including signed baseballs, A-State memorabilia and much more.

The A-State baseball team, including 22 newcomers, got to meet Renna and hear a message from the actor.

“It was really cool meeting all the guys, you know, meeting the whole team,” Renna said. “I think our shortened version of what I said to them was just like enjoy this, this period and keep working hard at it because that’s the stuff you’re going to remember, is the successes and failures that you’re going through as a team.”

“Just the opportunity, being in front of the community and to share a little bit about our team [stands out],” head coach Tommy Raffo said. “Bringing somebody in that our community really values to spend some time with, it’s just a great event. It really kicks off the baseball season.”

In addition to hearing from Renna, the event included dinner, an opportunity to meet the Red Wolves, a silent and live auction and a 50/50 raffle. The A-State baseball program also awarded the Ed Way “Heart and Hustle” Award.

The Red Wolves open their season at Tomlinson Stadium Friday, February 17 at 6:00 against Arkansas-Pine Bluff.