The 8th annual Hot Stove Banquet once again features a former Atlanta Brave who seems destined for the Baseball Hall of Fame.

The Charleston RiverDogs will welcome John Smoltz as the guest speaker for the banquet on Jan. 27 at the Charleston Marriott on Lockwood Boulevard.

Currently a sportscaster for TBS and TNT, Smoltz spent more than two decades pitching for the Braves. He was primarily a starting pitcher but was converted to a reliever in 2001 following surgery. He spent four seasons as the team's closer before returning to a starting role.

In 2002, he became only the second pitcher to have both a 20-win season and a 50-save season on his resume (the other is Dennis Eckersley). Smoltz, the 1996 National League Cy Young Award winner, is the only pitcher to record both 200 wins and 150 saves, and he is one of 16 with 3,000 career strikeouts.

Last year, former Braves manager Bobby Cox was the guest speaker and ticket sales were so brisk that the site was changed to accommodate a huge crowd.

The banquet is an annual event coordinated by the Charleston RiverDogs to whet the appetite of area baseball fans. Proceeds benefit The Citadel, College of Charleston and MUSC's Storm Eye Institute.

A reception is at 6 p.m. with dinner at 7. Tickets are $65, and $75 after Dec. 23.

For information, contact Melissa Azevedo at (843) 577-3647, or go to