Open Announce

Register now for Baseball's Annual First Pitch Banquet, featuring Goose Gossage

by Connor Gilbert

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – The New Mexico baseball program announced nine-time MLB All-Star and World Series Champ Goose Gossage as its keynote speaker at its First Pitch Banquet, the annual fundraising event to kick off the spring season.

Former Lobo and MLB Jordan Pacheco will also be joining the festivities, taking the stage for a panel discussion along with Gossage’s main event speech.

Registration is now open to attend the event, which will take place on Jan. 19, 2024 at the Sandia Event Center. Doors will open at 5 p.m. for a VIP event with cocktails, with the main event beginning at 6 p.m. with a cash bar available and a silent auction going until dinner is served at 7 p.m. The main program begins at 7:45 p.m.

This year’s VIP reception is sponsored by the Frontier and Golden Pride Restaurants.

This year’s VIP reception is sponsored by the Frontier and Golden Pride Restaurants.

Gossage, born Richard Michael Gossage in 1951, was a monumental force in shaping the role of the modern closer. Over his 22-year tenure in the MLB, Gossage played for multiple teams, most notably the New York Yankees, where he became a fan favorite and won a World Series in 1978. Inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2008, Gossage accumulated 310 career saves, ranking among the all-time leaders at the time of his retirement in 1994. Upon his retirement, Gossage also ranked third in major-league career games pitched, (1,002) and wins achieved in relief (115). Notably, among pitchers predominantly in a relieving role, his 1,502 strikeouts trail only Hoyt Wilhelm.

Pacheco, a graduate of La Cueva High School and UNM, primarily played as a utility player during his time in the big leagues from 2011-2016, where he appeared in 377 games and posted a .272 batting average.  Pacheco spent the majority of his career with the Rockies, playing for them from 2011 to 2013. During his time with the Rockies, he showcased versatility by playing multiple positions, including catcher, first base, and third base; he also spent time with the Arizona Diamondbacks and Cincinnati Reds. A Lobo from 2005 to 2007,  he compiled a .384 average with 59 doubles, eight triples, 25 home runs and 145 RBI over three seasons from 2005-07 and was named MWC Player of the Year in 2007. Pacheco was drafted in the ninth round by the Colorado Rockies in 2007 and eventually made his Major League debut with Colorado in 2011. He made his return to the 505 in 2021, joining the Albuquerque Isotopes’ coaching staff as a hitting coach.

ContactFor tickets or VIP sponsorships, please contact Paige Blomker at 505-250-8489 or If you are unable to attend, please consider donating to UNM baseball at

Sponsorship Opportunities-$150 – Sponsor a Lobo baseball player-$150 – Individual seat-$1,500 – Table for 10 people-$1,500 – Table for 10 people w/8 guests to be seated w/2 current UNM players-$5,000 – VIP Table, including a cocktail hour with Goose Gossage and a VIP table with up-close seating for 10 people for the banquet