The American Baseball Foundation Inc. is honored to bring to Central Alabama annually a featured speaker to headline its ABF Lead Off Dinner. The event, which benefits ABF programs for underserved children, attracts an average of 400 business leaders who enjoy–the motivational words of nationally recognized stars, a singular silent auction offering memorabilia of sports greats such as Mark Ingram and Derek Jeter, sports exhibitions depicting the evolution of sports in Birmingham, live auctions, free raffles of signed sports items and client entertainment. Sponsors and donors may partner with the ABF at these levels:
- Presenting Sponsorship
Three-year partnership in which sponsor’s name is in the title of the event. Sponsor enjoys all publicity and marketing rights.
- Grand Slam Sponsorship
Category exclusivity for product sponsor. Sponsor receives event publicity
- Gold Medal Sponsorship
Donor receives publicity at the event.
Individual Tickets: $150.00/ticket
Gold Medal Sponsor: $1200.00 – Table of Eight (8)
- Reserved table for eight in priority seating area.
- Recognition in dinner program.
- Two invitations to VIP cocktail party.
For information regarding sponsorship and tickets for the Friday, January 25th, 2013 event, contact David Osinski 205-558-4235; email: email@example.com
2013 Featured Guest: Craig Kimbrel
Atlanta Braves pitching star Craig Kimbrel, will be the featured speaker at the January 25th, 2013 ABF Lead Off Dinner to be held at The Club in Birmingham, AL.
Craig Micheal Kimbrel (born May 28, 1988, in Huntsville, Alabama) is a Major League Baseball pitcher for the Atlanta Braves. Breaking the record for saves by a rookie in the 2011 season, Kimbrel was awarded the Rookie of the Year Award for the National League.
Kimbrel was drafted by the Braves in the 33rd round of the 2007 draft, but elected to remain at Wallace State Community College in order to improve his draft position. He was then taken by the Braves in the third round of the 2008 draft, and was the 96th player chosen.
Kimbrel uses a devastating four-seam fastball/power curveball combination to get outs. He throws his fastball exceptionally hard, averaging nearly 97 mph in 2011 and occasionally touching triple digits. His curve, thrown with a “spike” grip, stays in the mid-to-upper 80s. Both of his pitches have extraordinary whiff rates: the four-seamer at 33% and the curve at 52%. This overwhelming combination contributes to a strikeouts per nine innings rate of 15.6 over Kimbrel’s career so far (as of 25 August 2012). He is also tied for fourth among all pitchers from 2002–2012 in the highest percentage of pitches that resulted in swinging strikes.
Kimbrel ended the season tied for the National League lead with 46 saves — shattering the previous rookie record of 40, set by (former Braves prospect) Neftali Feliz of the Texas Rangers in 2010 — and led the Major Leagues with 127 strikeouts in 77 innings of relief.