Red Sox manager gives U baseball a boost

Ute head coach Bill Kinneberg’s baseball connections paid off Tuesday night, as Boston Red Sox manager Terry Francona was the headliner at a Ute baseball fund-raising dinner.

On the night, the U baseball team made an estimated $20,000 from the auction and an additional $25,000 from the dinner.

Francona and Kinneberg were friends while both were attending the University of Arizona. With Francona’s public image getting a big boost thanks to his leading the Red Sox to the 2004 World Series title, he attracted a big gathering.

About 250 people attended the $100-a-plate dinner, but the big attention came to the auction that followed.

Francona brought along many pieces of Red Sox memorabilia (Curt Schilling’s bloody sock did not make the cut) including a team signed baseball that went for $2,000 and a Schilling- signed ball for $700.

The big-ticket item was a trip for two to any Red Sox series, and included hotel and a field pass. After the package went for $10,000, Francona surprised the bidder by upping the prize to four tickets.

All money will go directly into the baseball program. The team could use all the good news it can get, as the team has struggled near the bottom of the Mountain West Conference in the recent years.

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