Former MLB star John Olerud to be Honored at inaugural WCCBL Best of the West All-Star banquet

Commissioner Jim Dietz recently announced that the West Coast Collegiate Baseball League will host an All-Star banquet dinner Monday, July 10 at the Red Lion in Wenatchee as part of its inaugural All-Star event. The dinner will celebrate collegiate baseball and feature an exciting lineup of speakers and honored guest John Olerud.

Sponsored by Red Lion and Nike, the Best of the West banquet is open to the public and includes a social starting at 5:30 pm, sit down dinner and such All-Star speakers as emcee Steve Hertz, legendary Washington State Head Baseball Coach Chuck “Bobo” Brayton, current Cougars skipper Donnie Marbut and Carl Moesche of the Major League Baseball Scouting Bureau.

John Olerud played his college baseball at Washington State University for Coach Brayton. Oly is the only college player to win 15 games as a pitcher and hit more than 20 homeruns. Following his junior season, the two-way collegiate star was drafted in the 3rd round by the Toronto Blue Jays and reported directly to the big leagues never spending a day in the minors. With the Blue Jays, Olerud won a batting crown and two World Championships. He also played with the New York Mets, Seattle Mariners, Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees. The slick-fielding, left-hand hitting first baseman led the Mets to the NLCS in 1999 and anchored Seattle’s 116-win team (and won three gold gloves). John embodies the heart, soul and spirit of the collegiate game and is arguably the finest collegiate ballplayer to hail from the Pacific Northwest. The WCCBL takes great pride in honoring such a classy, modest and kind-hearted ballplayer like John.

The league’s inaugural All-Star Game is being held at Paul Thomas Sr. Field in Wenatchee. The host AppleSox led the league last year in attendance and also won the inaugural league championship.

East meets West at 7 pm Tuesday, July 11. The East team will be made up of collegiate prospects from the AppleSox, Kelowna Falcons, Moses Lake Pirates and Spokane RiverHawks and managed by Sox skipper Ed Knaggs. The West team will feature All-Stars from the Aloha Knights, Bellingham Bells, Bend Elks and Kitsap BlueJackets and will be guided by Knights’ head coach Dale Stebbins. Gates open at 3 pm. The game will also feature an autograph session, home run derby and first pitches by “Bobo” Brayton and John Olerud.

Individual dinner tickets and tables can be purchased by calling Nick Caples at (509) 665-6900. Individual tickets cost $35 and a table of eight can be purchased for $250. All-Star game tickets can also be purchased by calling the AppleSox at (509) 665-6900.

The WCCBL is dedicated to player development, player exposure and to providing affordable summer entertainment to its member communities.