Cal Baseball to Face USF in Inaugural Dante Benedetti Classic at SBC Park

Dec. 14, 2005

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIF. - The California baseball program will travel across the bay this spring to face the University of San Francisco on Tuesday, April 25, 2006 at SBC Park in the inaugural Dante Benedetti Classic celebrating the legacy of a giant in San Francisco youth and collegiate baseball. Benedetti, who coached USF for 16 years for an annual salary of one dollar passed away last month at the age of 86 after a long illness. The 1 p.m. contest will be the first collegiate game ever played in the home park of the San Francisco Giants, and will precede the Giants' 7 p.m. night contest against the New York Mets.

Two former Cal standouts, Tyler Walker and Xavier Nady, will be playing in the major league game. Walker (1996-97) is a right-handed relief pitcher for the Giants, and Nady (1998-00) is an outfielder for the Mets.

USF head coach Nino Giarratano welcomes the opportunity to play Cal, an ancient Bay Area rival, in an unmatched atmosphere.

'We are extremely honored to be a part of Dante Benedetti's legacy here at the University of San Francisco. We are also very appreciative of the effort the Giants have made to open their doors to help us honor Dante in this baseball game,' Giarratano said.

'It will be a great experience for our players to get a chance to compete in a major league stadium,' said Cal coach David Esquer. 'We are also excited to be able to precede a Giants game, and it is an honor to be playing a game named after such a Bay Area baseball icon.'

Tom Louinbos, who played for Benedetti on the Hilltop, played a key role in establishing the Dante Benedetti Classic, in conjunction with USF baseball and the San Francisco Giants.

'Dante's Benedetti's name is synonymous with baseball in San Francisco. From the 1950's - 1980's, if you played baseball in San Francisco at any level - junior leagues, high school or college - you knew of Dante. I'm very pleased that with the assistance of the San Francisco Giants and USF, Dante's legacy of helping youth baseball in San Francisco will continue with the playing of the Dante Benedetti Classic,' Lounibos said.

For information on tickets please call (415) 972-2298 or visit sfgiants.com/specialevents. All proceeds from the event will go to the 'Dante Benedetti Field of Dreams' fund.

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