Hall of Fame pitcher Phil Niekro, former Atlanta Braves catcher Javy Lopez and Boston Red Sox hitting coach Greg Colbrunn headline the Charleston RiverDogs' 10th annual Hot Stove Banquet and Auction on Friday night at the Charleston Marriott.

The popular event includes a reception at 6 p.m. and dinner at 7 p.m. Proceeds benefit the Citadel, College of Charleston and Charleston Southern baseball programs and MUSC's Storm Eye Institute, the RiverDogs' primary charity.

Niekro, famed for his knuckleball and longevity, was 318-274 over 24 seasons. The knuckler was so baffling, former Braves catcher Bob Uecker claims Niekro once recorded a strikeout without Uecker touching the ball; it hit the catcher's shin guard and rolled to third baseman Clete Boyer, who threw to first for an assist.

Lopez hit 260 home runs during his 15-year career. He played in 60 postseason games for the Braves, including the Game 6 of the 1995 World Series against Cleveland, the clincher in Atlanta's only World Series championship.

Colbrunn in his first season as Boston's hitting coach saw most Red Sox batting averages climb on the way to winning the World Series against St. Louis. A Mount Pleasant resident and 13-year former big leaguer, Colbrunn has served as a RiverDogs manager and hitting coach.

Hot Stove Banquet tickets are $65 per person, which includes dinner, a table gift and an autograph or photo opportunity. Tables of eight with preferred seating are available at $550.

See www.riverdogs.com or call 577-DOGS for more information.