Monday, December 17, 2012
Former New York Mets ace-turned-Emmy Award-winning sports analyst Ron Darling will be the guest speaker at Rider’s fifth annual First Pitch Dinner on Saturday, January 26, at Greenacres County Club on Lawrenceville Road (Route 206 North) in Lawrenceville, opposite Rider University.
Darling spent nine seasons as a starting pitcher for the Mets and was a key member of their 1986 World Championship and 1988 National League East champion teams. He also has the distinction of being the first Mets pitcher to be awarded the Gold Glove Award. After a short stint with the Montreal Expos, the All-Star pitcher finished his career by spending five seasons with the Oakland Athletics.
“We are extremely excited to have Ron Darling at our fifth-annual First Pitch Dinner,” said Rider head coach Barry Davis. “His past experience as a player at Yale, a first-round draft pick, a professional for 13 years and current broadcaster makes him a slam dunk for our dinner. He has the game covered. We are lucky and honored to have him with us to kick off the season.”
Darling joined SportsNet New York in 2006 and is the network’s Mets game and studio analyst, working more than 100 Mets telecasts each year. In addition to his work as a game analyst, Darling also contributes to SNY's Mets pre- and postgame shows, Mets Hot Stove, Daily News Live and to www.sny.tv. Darling won an Emmy Award for “Best Sports Analyst” in his first season with SNY and again in 2011.
Rider’s 2013 Rider baseball team will be introduced at the First Pitch Dinner, and there will also be an auction and raffle. Cocktail hour begins at 6 p.m., with dinner served at 7 p.m.
“In Ron Darling, we’ll have a very well-spoken advocate for the role of the student-athlete at a selective institution of higher learning, as well as someone who also has significant pitching credentials and a World Series ring,” said Jonathan Meer, Rider’s vice president for University Advancement.
Tickets are $125 for the reception and dinner, $75 for Rider baseball alumni who have graduated in the last five years, and $40 for children ages 13 and under. A VIP package is available for $1,000 and includes eight tickets to a meet-and-greet, the cocktail reception and the dinner. Philadelphia Phillies television play-by-play broadcaster Tom McCarthy will emcee the event.
Prior to joining SNY, Darling served as the color commentator for the Washington Nationals on Mid-Atlantic Sports Network (MASN) for the 2005 season, where he called 150 games. Prior to working at MASN, Ron served as an on-air analyst for Fox Sports Net, and also appeared on The Best Damn Sports Show Period, the National Sports Report, CSTV and Baseball Today.
In addition to his work on SNY, Darling is on the Board of Directors for the Diabetes Research Institute and for Habitat for Humanity in New York City.
The Hawaiian-born Darling attended Yale University, where he was a two-time All-America choice, leading the Bulldogs to two Ivy League titles. He currently resides with his family in Brooklyn.
You can register for the dinner by calling Rider’s Office of Alumni Relations at 609-896-5340, or online at alumni.rider.edu/firstpitchdinner.