Andre Dawson and Brian Onuora Head to Headline 2023 for YSU’s First Baseball Grounds Breakfast

Former Major League Baseball inductee and famed baseball player Andre Dawson will be the featured speaker at the 2023 Youngstown State Baseball First Pitch Breakfast, which will be held Saturday, February 4, at Waypoint 4180 in Canfield. He will be joined by current Major League Baseball referee and Youngstown native Brian Onora.

“The First Pitch Breakfast is an amazing event that has grown bigger and bigger every year,” said the YSU coach. Dan Bertolini. “We’ve been really fortunate over the years to have some great people talking at our breakfast, and this year we’ve continued that tradition. Anytime you can have a Major League umpire and a Hall of Fame baseball player in the same room, very private, And we are very fortunate to have Brian Onora and Andre Dawson be a part of our event.This event is very important to our program and the support from the community has been fantastic over the past 9 years.The generosity of that much is what really drives our program and helps us be in a position to win on a consistent basis.I Really looking forward to this year and can’t wait to see everyone in attendance to help make this year even more special.”

The event will also provide fans with the opportunity to meet the 2023 Penguins baseball team, enjoy a breakfast buffet and bid in live and silent auctions on an impressive selection of Major League Baseball memorabilia, unique experiences and YSU baseball equipment. The breakfast ticket will also provide entry to the door prize draw, which will be for two different door prizes. The first prize will be an autographed bat signed by the 2023 YSU baseball team. The second prize will be four 2023 season tickets to Youngstown State baseball games.

General admission tickets are $40 apiece, and reserved seats are $50 each. Also available for $700, corporate and family tables include 10 breakfast/lottery tickets, premium seating at First Pitch Breakfast and two guests to join the speakers and the YSU baseball team for dinner Friday, February 3, at 6 p.m. at Michael Alberini’s in Boardman. Premium reserved tables are also available for $500, guaranteeing priority seating for 10 to hear both speakers share their experiences at breakfast.

Doors will open and buffet starts at 8:00 AM and program starts at 9.00 AM.

Dawson played in MLB for 21 seasons with the Montreal Expos, Chicago Cubs, Boston Red Sox, and Florida Marlins. An eight-time National League All-Star, he was named the league’s Rookie of the Year in 1977 after batting . 2282 with 19 home runs and 65 RBI. Dawson won the National League Most Valuable Player Award in 1987 after leading the league with 49 homers and 137 RBIs. He was runner-up for the award in 1981 and 1983. He batted . 300 five times, drove in 100 runs batted in four times and had 13 seasons of at least 20 home runs. Dawson is one of eight MLB players to have at least 300 home runs and 300 stolen bases during his career.

Dawson has been an eight-time Gold Glove Award winner while he has four Silver Slugger Awards. He finished his MLB career with 2,774 hits, 438 home runs, 314 stolen bases, and 1,591 RBI. Dawson is also one of only five members of the 400 HR-300 SB club, along with Barry Bonds, Willie Mays, Alex Rodriguez and Carlos Beltrán. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame on July 25, 2010. Dawson’s jersey #10 has been retired by the Montreal Expos, and he is a member of both the Washington Ring of Honor and the Chicago Hall of Fame. In 2019, he was also inducted into the National College Baseball Hall of Fame.

Onora joined the Major League Umpires in 2000 after previously serving as an American League umpire from 1992 to 1999. He has officiated the 2004 National League Division Series, the 2006 National League Division Series, the 2009 National League Division Series, and the 2009 National League Division Series. 2010 American League Division Series and the 2012 Division II Series. Onora also officiated the 2008 American League Championship Game and the 2012 World Series. He was part of the crew that worked the 2000, 2010, and 2019 Major League Baseball All-Star Games.

In 2011, O’Nora was one of two MLB umpires chosen to officiate the MLB-All Stars Taiwan Series. During spring training in 2014, he served as the replay referee for the first use of extended replays at a Major League Baseball game. O’Nora was also behind home plate for the Chicago Cubs community no-hitter against the Los Angeles Dodgers on June 24, 2021. He is a graduate of nearby Austintown Fitch High School.

Tickets may be purchased by returning the ticket order form shown above or by contacting the Youngstown State Assistant Coach Eric Bunnell at

Waypoint 4180 is located at 4180 Westford Place in Canfield.

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