Nearly 500 Missouri State Baseball fans packed into the Shrine Mosque for Friday’s “Step up to the Plate” fundraiser.
Head Coach Keith Guttin told the crowd his program’s recent NCAA Tournament trips have shown his staff what the Bears are up against, in terms of clubhouses and training facilities. He said he hopes to make upgrades that will ensure his program remains competitive.
Fourteen current and former big league Bears attended the offseason event in Springfield, including Cardinals slugger Luke Voit and Padres pitcher Buddy Baumann, a Rogersville native.
“We had a bunch of grinders,” Voit said. “We never got the best talent in the world, but we always found ways to win, and Guttin’s made this a winning program.”
Attendees paid for dinner and drinks, and contributed additional dollars via silent auctions.
“Missouri State is a baseball school,” Baumann said. “A lot of really good baseball players come out of there. It’s because of the coaching staff and it’s because of the community.”
“Two of the things that occupy a lot of my time are recruiting and fundraising, Guttin said. “Being December, we were able to get a lot of our former players back. Fortunately, we got 14 back. It all kind of came together.”