BELOIT, WI - On Wednesday, February 5, 2014, the Beloit Snappers will host their 10th Annual Hot Stove Banquet at the Eclipse Center in Beloit, Wisconsin. The event will feature a variety of interesting speakers and special guests.
Among these guests will be Pat O'Conner, President and CEO of Minor League Baseball. O'Conner has spent 31 years in professional baseball. O'Conner is credited with negotiating three successive Professional Baseball Agreements with Major League Baseball on behalf of Minor League Baseball, the latest of which runs through the 2020 season. These agreements define the relationship between Major League Baseball and Minor League Baseball and have framed the modern-era structure for Minor League Baseball throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico and Latin America, while creating a healthy financial environment for all clubs in the association. He has been the president of Minor League Baseball since 2007. This is O'Conner's second appearance in Beloit, the first being at 2008's Hot Stove Banquet.
Rick Magnante will be making his first appearance in Beloit. Magnante is the new field manager for the Snappers. Last season, Magnante managed the Oakland A's short season affiliate, the Vermont Lake Monsters. Prior to managing in Vermont, Magnante managed the Athletics short-season team in Vancouver for five seasons (2006-10). Magnante has also served as an area scout for the A's and is credited with signing players such as Barry Zito and Bobby Crosby. Magnante also managed South Africa in the 2006 and 2009 World Baseball Classic.
New Beloit Memorial High School Head Football Coach, Rodney Wedig, will also be making his first public appearance in Beloit. Wedig, a highly successful local football coach, comes to Beloit from Walworth Big Foot High School, where he made the playoffs all 11 seasons he was there. Wedig led that team to a state championship in 2009 and finished state runner up in 2008 and 2012. He inherits a Beloit Memorial team that hasn't had a winning season since 1999, has gone 3-42 in the past five seasons and went 1-8 this past fall.
A few familiar faces will be returning to Beloit for the Hot Stove Banquet. One being 2013 Snappers Outfielder, Ryan Mathews, will also speak. Mathews prides himself on being a Christian Athlete and says that that is one of the reasons he is the person and the ball player that he is today. Mathews batted .260 in Beloit last season while hitting 14 homeruns and having 55 RBIs and 7 stolen bases. The other is 2013 Snappers second baseman, Christopher Bostick. Bostick hit .282, hit 14 homeruns, and had 89 RBIs and 25 stolen bases last season. Both, Bostick and Mathews, were fan favorites and heavily involved with appearances in the community this past summer.
A portion of the event's proceeds will benefit The Stateline Boys and Girls Club. The Boys and Girls Clubs provide a safe place for young people to learn and grow, create ongoing relationships with caring, adult professionals, and develop character. Their main goal is to enable all young people, especially those in need the most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens.
Tickets for the event are $40 per adult and $20 for children 5 through 12. Children under 5 are free. The ticket includes dinner, two box seat ticket vouchers for any April Snappers home game in 2014 and the program for the evening. Guests may also purchase a reserved table of 8 for $300. Tickets will not be sold at the door and must be purchased in advance. The event will also feature a live and silent auction of a variety of items from numerous sports teams and local businesses.
Tickets will go on sale through the Beloit Snappers offices beginning on January 10th and can be purchased by calling the Snappers offices at 608-362-2272 or by stopping by Pohlman Field at 2301 Skyline Drive in Beloit. Tickets for both the dinner and the program are non-refundable.
The Eclipse Center is located at 1701 Riverside Drive. Doors will open at 5:15 pm for the silent auction and social hour. Dinner will begin at 6:30 pm and the program will start at approximately 7:15 pm.
The Beloit Snappers are a member of the Midwest League and are a Class-A affiliate of the Oakland Athletics. Opening Day at Pohlman Field is set for April 3, 2014 at 6:30 pm when the Snappers face the Burlington Bees, the Midwest League affiliate of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. For ticket information, contact the Snappers office at 608-362-2272 or visit our website at www.snappersbaseball.com.