University of Louisville baseball alumni Adam Engel and Kyle McGrath will be the featured guests at the 2018 Leadoff Dinner presented by Republic Bank on Friday, Jan. 26 at the Louisville Marriott Downtown. Each of the former Cardinals made their Major League Baseball debuts in 2017 providing another entertaining backdrop for this year’s edition of the Louisville Baseball Leadoff Dinner as the players share some of their favorite collegiate and professional memories.

The annual dinner is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m., ET in the Grand Ballroom at the Louisville Marriott Downtown. Tickets for the Leadoff Dinner are $60 each and can be purchased online at starting Thursday at 9 a.m., ET. Tables of 10 for the event are also available for $600. The deadline to register is Jan. 19, 2017, while more information can be obtained by contacting Ronee Baxter at (502) 852-2015 or at

The 2018 Leadoff Dinner guests were among five Louisville baseball alumni to see MLB game action during the 2017 season and 36 former Cardinals to play professional baseball this year. Visit to see the complete list of Cardinals in MLB and MiLB.



An outfielder for the Cardinals from 2011-13, Engel made his MLB debut with the Chicago White Sox on May 27, 2017. Aside from a brief four-game Triple A stint in June, Engel remained with the White Sox for the duration of the 2017 season. After debuting as a pinch runner and scoring a run in the eighth inning of game one of the May 27doubleheader against Detroit, Engel made his first MLB start and registered his first career hit with an eighth inning single in the nightcap with the Tigers that evening. During his first MLB season, Engel made 91 starts and played in 97 games overall connecting for six home runs, 11 doubles, 21 RBI and scoring 34 runs to go with numerous highlight reel catches in center field.

While at Louisville, the Cincinnati native was a two-time All-Big East Conference selection who played in 169 games with 153 starts in his three seasons. He ranks second at Louisville in career stolen bases (94) while also registering the third (41 in 2013) and fourth (37 in 2012) highest single season stolen base totals in school history. A team captain in 2013, Engel played a key role as the Cardinals won the Big East regular season championship and advanced to the College World Series before signing professionally with the White Sox, who selected him in the 19th round of the 2013 MLB Draft.



A lefthanded pitcher for Louisville in the 2013-14 seasons, McGrath made his MLB debut with the San Diego Padres on July 30, 2017 registering a pair of strikeouts in a perfect inning of relief against the Pittsburgh Pirates. During his first season with the Padres, McGrath did not record a decision while finishing with a 2.84 ERA, 1.05 WHIP and 16 strikeouts in 17 total relief appearances and 19.0 innings pitched. In the month of September, McGrath had a 1.59 ERA with 10 strikeouts in 11 appearances and 11.1 innings of relief.

During his two collegiate seasons with the Cardinals, the Louisville native and Butler High School product compiled an 8-2 record with a 1.84 ERA and 88 strikeouts in 88.0 innings pitched and 48 total appearances. As a senior, McGrath was 2-1 with a 1.34 ERA and 40 strikeouts in 23 relief outings as Louisville made its second straight College World Series appearance. In the 2013 CWS season, McGrath had a 6-1 record with a 2.27 ERA and 48 strikeouts in 47.2 innings. McGrath signed with the Padres after being selected in the 36th round of the 2014 MLB Draft.


Since its debut in 1996, the Louisville Baseball Leadoff Dinner helps launch the baseball season by bringing some of the biggest names in the game to the Derby City. Last year’s event was headline by a quartet of Cardinals alumni in New York Yankees pitcher Chad Green, Los Angeles Angels pitcher Cody Ege, pitcher Dean Kiekhefer from the Seattle Mariners and pitcher Matt Koch of the Arizona Diamondbacks. Other previous guests include Adam Duvall, Jose Bautista, Josh Hamilton, Andy Pettitte, Joe Girardi, Derek Jeter, Don Mattingly, Alex Rodriguez, Tino Martinez, Scott Rolen, Tommy Lasorda, Chris Coghlan, Jeff Francoeur, Sean Green, Nick Swisher, Adam Wainwright, Chris Burke, Chris Dominguez, Justin Marks, Trystan Magnuson, Zack Cozart, B.J. Rosenberg and Rick Sweet.

The 2018 Louisville Baseball Leadoff Dinner presented by Republic Bank will be the 12th under the guidance of head coach Dan McDonnell, who has placed the Cardinals among the nation’s elite programs with four College World Series berths, seven NCAA Super Regional appearances, 10 NCAA Regional bids, eight regular season conference championships, two conference tournament titles, 34 All-Americans and 509 wins overall in his 11 seasons.


Season tickets for the 2018 Louisville baseball season are on sale now and can be purchased online at, by calling 502-GO-CARDS or by visiting the Louisville Cardinals Ticket Office, located near Gate 2 at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium (2800 South Floyd Street) on weekdays from 9 a.m., until 5 p.m.

Reserved chairback ticket packages are priced at $150 for adults (less than $4.50 per game), $120 for senior adults/youth (less than $4 per game) and $480 for a Family 4-Pack (less than $4 per game per ticket). Season tickets for the Left Field Berm are also available at $100 for adults (less than $3 per game), $80 for senior adults/youth (less than $2.50 per game) and $320 for a Family 4-Pack (less than $2.50 per game per ticket).

Single game tickets for the 2018 season will be priced at $10 for reserved chairback and $5 for berm and will be available for purchase at a later date. Season ticket packages include all regular season home games at Jim Patterson Stadium with the exception of the annual Elementary School Day game, played each March during a weekday afternoon. For Elementary School Day, season tickets will provide admission to the game but will not include a reserved seat.

With a listed capacity of 4,000, Jim Patterson Stadium has hosted six crowds of more than 6,000 fans in the last two seasons, including three in 2017. Fresh off a fourth trip to the NCAA Men’s College World Series and third straight ACC Atlantic Division Championship, Louisville baseball has become the must-see event for Cardinals fans in the spring.

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