On Saturday, the Georgetown baseball team unofficially kicked off its season with the seventh annual First Pitch Dinner, held in the Leavey Center Ballroom. The fundraiser, hosted by Hoyas Unlimited, featured a silent auction in addition to a speech from former Major League Baseball all-star and World Series champion Jamie Moyer.

The tremendously successful silent auction featured items such as Red Sox vs. Yankees tickets, vacation packages and several pieces of signed baseball memorabilia. The event also served as a reunion for current and former members of the Hoya baseball program — Head Coach Pete Wilk’s favorite aspect of the dinner.

“It’s a chance for me to catch up with [former players],” Wilk said. “Every year there’s more and more [players] that make the trip. This whole thing is about relationships, and those guys coming back is the most gratifying thing.”

Although the auction items and the homecoming of players past provided plenty of excitement, it was the words and presence of the veteran Moyer that made the event special.

At 48, Moyer is the oldest player in the Majors and the southpaw has the most wins among active pitchers. To accompany those wins, Moyer was an all-star in 2003 with the Mariners and a member of the 2008 World Series champion Philadelphia Phillies.

Known for his craftiness and poise on the field, it is Moyer’s off-the-field legacy that made him a perfect keynote speaker for the event. Wilk said that when choosing a speaker for the dinner, he wanted somebody who would not only draw people, but would more importantly send a message to his players.

“[Jamie Moyer] was a no-brainer,” he said.

Throughout his career, Moyer has always been known as a philanthropist, and he has been recognized for this work through awards such as the Roberto Clemente Award. Most notably, the lefty created the Moyer Foundation, a nonprofit organization devoted to helping children in distress.

In his speech, Moyer reflected on his own life, career and charitable experiences; throughout it, he stressed the importance of service, selflessness and giving.

“You guys are student athletes [who’re] on a great stage, at a great university. Make something of it,” Moyer said. “Think about what you guys [alumni] can teach them [current players] and what they can teach you, and what you can do together, and the impact just the people in this room alone could make.”

The idea Moyer deemed most important though, was the need for those in good situations to try and make a difference in someone else’s life.

“As a professional athlete I think you get caught up in the real game of life,” he said. “By creating this foundation, it has really allowed us to keep things on a level and stay focused on what’s really important, and that’s life and making a difference in someone else’s life.”

In his speech, Moyer also mentioned the personal lack of academic motivation he experienced in high school and his assumption that he would be drafted (which he was not). Saturday night, he stressed the importance of academia in the lives of all student athletes.

“It’s pretty cool to give back to the game and talk to the young men that are aspiring baseball players, but they’re also student athletes,” Moyer said. “This is a great school that has turned out many great students and athletes.”

Wilk could not help but be moved by Moyer’s tale.

“It was one of the most genuine and heartfelt speeches I’ve ever heard,” Wilk said. “I teared up and was choked up three times. How many times do you see that in a public speaking forum? Unbelievable.”

Currently a free agent, Moyer hopes to make a comeback to the big leagues in 2012 after recovering from off-season elbow surgery.

Georgetown baseball begins its season Feb. 18 at Davidson.

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