David Eckstein

The AState Grand Slam Banquet is tonight. Former Major League Shortstop and World Series MVP David Eckstein will be the keynote speaker. He took time to visit with media ahead of the event to talk baseball and science fiction.

The retired major leaguer is still involved in baseball but has also found his way into science fiction through his wife Ashley Eckstein, who provided the voice of Ahsoka Tano on Star Wars: The Clone Wars who produces female sci-fi apparel.

Eckstein spent the first four years of his MLB career with the Angels where helped Anaheim capture the World Series title in 2002. At the end of the 2004 season he signed to play in St. Louis where voted to the 2005 and 2006 National League All-Star teams and won a second World Series in 2006. He was also named the World Series MVP after going 8-for-22 with four RBIs and scored three runs scored in the series, including going 4-for-5 with three doubles in game four. The World Series victory with the Cardinals made Eckstein one of few starting shortstops that have won a World Series in both the American and National Leagues.

Eckstein is from Sanford, Fla., and played collegiate baseball at the University of Florida from 1994-97 and was originally a walk-on before later earning an athletic scholarship. A standout in the Southeastern Conference (SEC), he was a first-team All-SEC selection in 1995 and 1996, a first-team All-American in 1996, a three-time SEC Academic Honor Roll selection (1995–1997), and the first two-time Academic All-American in Gators baseball history. Eckstein was a member of the 1996 Gators squad that finished third in the College World Series. He was inducted into the University of Florida Athletic Hall of Fame as a "Gator Great" in 2007.