WHEELING - The speaker for tonight's Wheeling Area Chamber of Commerce Annual Dinner is sure to be a hit with local baseball fans.
Clint Hurdle, manager of the Pittsburgh Pirates, will give the keynote address for the event at Wheeling Park's White Palace. A reception will be held at 6 p.m. in the White Palace Ballroom followed by dinner at 7 p.m.
Tickets for the Chamber dinner are $50 per person for chamber members and $60 for non-members. Tables of 10 can be reserved. For more information, call Terry A. Sterling, chamber president, at 304-233-2575.
Hurdle is a former Major League Baseball outfielder whose 10-year career was spent with the Kansas City Royals, Cincinnati Reds, New York Mets and St. Louis Cardinals. After retiring from playing baseball, Hurdle became a manager. His eight seasons with the Colorado Rockies included leading his 2007 club to the franchise's first National League pennant.
On Nov. 14, 2010, Hurdle was hired as the manager of the Pittsburgh Pirates.
In 2007, Hurdle managed Colorado to its second best finish in the team's 15-year history (only topped by the 2009 season) by winning 13 out of the last 14 games in order to force a tie-breaker game with the San Diego Padres to determine the winner of the National League Wild Card. The Rockies continued their improbable streak by sweeping Arizona in four games to win the first National League pennant in team history and reached the World Series where they lost to the Boston Red Sox.
After interviewing with both the Pittsburgh Pirates and New York Mets for their vacant managerial positions, Hurdle was hired by the Pirates on Nov. 14, 2010. Hurdle then agreed to a three-year contract, keeping him with the team through the 2013 season.
At the 2011 All-Star break, Hurdle had led the Pirates to a 47-43 record, one game out of first place in the NL Central. It was the first time the Pirates had been over .500 going into the All-Star break since winning the 1992 National League East. At the 2012 All-Star break, Hurdle had led the Pirates to a 4837 record, leading the NL Central division by 1 game over the Cincinnati Reds.
Hurdle is married and has three children.