Hall of Fame pitcher Phil Niekro and former Atlanta Braves all-star catcher Javy Lopez will be the featured guests at the Charleston RiverDogs’ 10th annual Hot Stove Banquet & Auction next month.
HOT STOVE BANQUET
When: Jan. 31, 6 p.m.
Where: Charleston Marriott
Information: Call (843) 577-3647 or go to riverdogs.com or rileyparkevents.com.
Greg Colbrunn, the hitting coach for the 2013 World Series champion Boston Red Sox, will also be featured at the event Jan. 31 in the Charleston Marriott Crystal Ballroom.
Proceeds from the Hot Stove Banquet benefit The Citadel, College of Charleston and Charleston Southern baseball programs and the MUSC Storm Eye Institute, which is the RiverDogs’ primary charity.
“The Hot Stove Banquet is one of the premiere baseball banquets in the region and in our 10th year, I believe this will be our best one yet,” said RiverDogs general manager Dave Echols.
The reception begins at 6 p.m. with the dinner starting at 7. Tickets are $65 per person and include dinner, a table gift and autograph or photo opportunity. Tables of eight with preferred seating are available for $550.
Fans will also have the opportunity to bid on an exclusive meet and greet session with both Niekro and Lopez that will be held on Jan. 31 from 4:15-5 p.m.
Niekro, who was enshrined in the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1997, had a 24-year career playing for the Milwaukee/Atlanta Braves, New York Yankees, Cleveland Indians and Toronto Blue Jays. He was nicknamed “Knucksie” for his fluttering knuckleball that helped him achieve a lifetime record of 318-274.
He twice led the National League in wins and propelled Atlanta to the NL West title in 1969, when he recorded 23 victories, 21 complete games and a 2.57 ERA. A five-time All Star and five-time Gold Glove Award winner, Niekro won 121 games after he turned 40, which is the most wins in baseball history by anyone over that age.
Lopez played for Atlanta, Baltimore and Boston.
He was a member of the Braves’ 1995 World Series team and caught for John Smoltz, Tom Glavine, Greg Maddux and Steve Avery. In 1996 Lopez established himself as the Braves’ regular season catcher and helped Atlanta win the NL Championship Series, earning the series Most Valuable Player honors in the process.
Colbrunn, the RiverDogs’ hitting coach for five seasons and manager for another, played in the majors for 13 years as a first baseman and pinch-hitter. He played for Atlanta, Montreal, Florida, Minnesota, Colorado and Seattle, and was a member of Arizona’s World Series team in 2001. This past year, he served as the hitting coach for the Boston Red Sox and helped lead them to a World Series title. Colbrunn is one of the few in history to have won a World Series ring as a player and a coach.
For tickets and additional information, call (843) 577-3647.
Tickets may also be purchased online at www.riverdogs.com or www.rileyparkevents.com.