Gray, Overton to Return as Preseason Honorees
|2015||Chase Anderson, Jackson Williams|
|2014||Garrett Richards, Bobby Witt|
|2008||Bob Stephenson, Reggie Willits|
|2007||Eddie Fisher, Geoff Geary, L. Dale Mitchell|
|2006||Jeff Bajenaru, Rich Hills|
|2005||Kyle Denney, Damon Minor, Ryan Minor|
|2004||Mark Redman, Russ Ortiz|
NORMAN – The University of Oklahoma baseball team will host its annual preseason Diamond Dinner on Saturday, Feb. 3 at the Marriott Conference Center at NCED (postal training center) in Norman. First-year Sooner head coach Skip Johnson announced that former OU pitchers Jon Gray and Dillon Overton will return to be recognized as the team’s honorees at the 15th annual Diamond Dinner.
“It’s very cool to get to come back and to see all of the great things that are happening with the program,” stated Gray. “It doesn’t seem like it has been five years since I played there, but I’m excited to get to go back and take everything in.”
The event begins at 7 p.m. Tickets, which cost $50 per person, must be purchased in advance by contacting Ryan Gaines or Dillon Stanley in the OU baseball office at 405-325-8354. Tickets can also be purchased by clicking HERE, where the official flyer can be printed and returned to the OU baseball office.
“Other than going back when my wife was still in school, we haven’t been back to campus,” added Overton. “We’re excited to get back and see some familiar faces. Getting honored is not something I was expecting, but I’m humbled to be recognized with Jon, who is one of my best friends.”
The Diamond Dinner is the first opportunity of the year for the fans and community to be introduced to the 2018 Sooners; just two weeks ahead of opening day. The event is open to the public. All attendees must register beforehand as walk-up sales will not be available.
Gray, Overton and current Oklahoma baseball student-athletes and alumni will be available for an autograph session during the event. Attendees will also be the first to see a video preview of the 2018 baseball season as well as have the opportunity to bid on exclusive items in a silent auction.
Teammates on Oklahoma’s 2013 Big 12 Championship team, Gray and Overton, will be reunited in Norman for the first time since their playing days with the Sooners. Anchoring the OU rotation in 2013, Gray and Overton were critical to the Sooners getting to dogpile in Bricktown and again at the NCAA Blacksburg Regional, which landed Oklahoma in its third Super Regional over a four-year stretch.
Gray (22) and Overton (13) sit in the Bricktown Ballpark dugout prior to the Sooners' 2013 Big 12 Championship win.
Gray, from Chandler, made his MLB debut with the Colorado Rockies in 2015 and after finishing sixth in the National League with a 9.91 strikeout-per-nine-innings average in 2016, he was named the team’s opening day starter for 2017. He went 10-4 this past season with a 3.67 earned run average and was called on to start Colorado’s NL Wild Card game against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
As a Sooner from 2012-13, Gray went 18-7 with a 2.32 ERA and 251 strikeouts, which ranks 11th all-time at OU. In 2013, he was a consensus First Team All-American and was drafted third overall in the MLB Draft; tied for the highest draft pick in program history. Following the tragic tornado that ripped through Moore in May 2013, Gray took the mound in an emotional Big 12 Championship opener and pitched a complete game, three-hit shutout to put the Sooners on track for the title and be named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player. He followed that effort with a complete game, 11-strikeout win in Oklahoma’s regional opener.
Overton was the third of four Sooners to make his MLB debut in 2016. He got the start and the win against the Los Angeles Angels in his debut with the Oakland Athletics. His 2017 season was split between the Seattle Mariners and San Diego Padres. In two MLB seasons, Overton has pitched in 17 games, including seven starts.
Pitching for Oklahoma from 2011-13, Overton, a Weatherford native, went 23-10 with a 2.89 ERA and 264 strikeouts. He ranks among the top-10 in Sooner history for career wins, strikeouts and innings pitched. Overton was selected in the second round with the 63rd overall pick by the A’s in 2013. He picked up the win in five-scoreless innings at the 2013 Big 12 Championship and pitched into the sixth in both postseason starts in the NCAA Tournament.
Season tickets for the 2018 OU baseball season went on sale Dec. 15. Reserved season ticket packages are $250, general admission tickets are $200 and season tickets for OU faculty and staff, letterwinners, youth and senior citizens are $180. Visit SoonerSports.com or call the OU ticket office at 405-325-2424 or toll free at 1-800-456-GoOU.