Former St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Bernard Gilkey is the featured guest at this year’s Cardinals Baseball Dinner, sponsored by the Greater Fayette County Chamber of Commerce.
The event is Saturday, April 14, at the American Legion Home, 321 S. Seventh St., Vandalia. A ballpark menu dinner will be served at 6 p.m., followed by a Q & A with Gilkey at 7 p.m. Fans may get free autographs after the program.
Gilkey’s 12-year major league career included six seasons (1990-95) as the Cardinals’ leftfielder. His best season as a Redbird came in 1993, when he batted .305 with 16 home runs, 70 RBI and 15 stolen bases.
Gilkey was dealt to the New York Mets following the 1995 campaign. He had a career year in New York in 1996, clubbing 30 home runs, driving in 117 runs, and finishing 14th in the MVP balloting.
On the defensive side, Gilkey led the National League in outfield assists in 1993, 1996 and 1997.
Joe Schaal, president of the Greater Fayette County Chamber of Commerce, is proud of the opportunity provided at the dinner.
“This is a great chance to meet a former major league player and get fascinating stories from on the field and in the clubhouse. Fans won’t want to miss this fun evening.”
“We’re happy to have Bernard as our guest this year,” John Goldsmith, program organizer, said.
“He was part of an exciting, young Cardinals outfield in the 1990s that also featured Ray Lankford, Mark Whiten and, later, Brian Jordan. He also played for Joe Torre during his stint as the Cardinals’ skipper," Goldsmith said.
Gilkey’s other unique claim to fame is that he appeared as himself in the 1997 blockbuster film “Men In Black.”
Tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for students ages 18 and under. They may be purchased at County Market in Vandalia, First National Bank’s main office in Vandalia and WKRV/WPMB. Tickets must be purchased by 5 p.m. on April 11.
For more information, call the Greater Fayette County Chamber of Commerce at 431-2281.