(AKRON, OHIO) Jan. 5, 2017 - The Akron RubberDucks announced today former Cleveland Indians Hall of Famer Carlos Baerga and current Indians Assistant General Manager Carter Hawkins, will headline its inaugural Hot Stove Banquet. The event will be at the Hilton Garden Inn in Akron on Fri., Feb. 3 starting at 4:30 p.m.
The inaugural Hot Stove Banquet will be a celebration of baseball to help get fans ready for another championship-caliber season from the RubberDucks and Indians. Fans will have an opportunity to ask Baerga about the playoff teams of the 1990s while they can hear from Hawkins about the 2017 team as well as the future Indians and RubberDucks players.
"We are thrilled to host the first RubberDucks Hot Stove banquet and silent auction. We think this event will become a staple of our signature special events throughout the year in an intimate setting," said RubberDucks General Manager Jim Pfander. "This will be a great night that will help connect generations of fans with Carter speaking about the 2017 version of the Indians while hearing about the glory days of Tribe with Carlos. Meanwhile, the best part may be that a portion of the proceeds from this amazing night will benefit the West Akron Baseball League (WABL) and all of the great work it does for the youth in our community."
The doors open at 4:30 p.m. with cocktails and silent auction, which will feature autographed items from current Indians and RubberDucks, as well as having unique items such as a Canal Park Opening Night ticket from the ballpark's inaugural game in 1997, signed by that night's starting pitcher, former Indians pitcher Jaret Wright.
Starting at 6 p.m., a full-plated meal and dessert will be served (vegetarian option available), and the program and question-and-answer session will follow dinner. Attendees will have the opportunity to get Baerga's autograph after the program's conclusion.
The Hot Stove Banquet is open to the public and tickets may be purchased for $75 per person or $550 for a table with proceeds benefiting the West Akron Baseball League (WABL). To purchase tickets, fans can call (330) 253-5151 or visit akronrubberducks.com. Space is limited.
Baerga is a Cleveland Indians Hall of Famer who played for the team from 1990-96 and in 1999. He helped lead the Indians to the 1995 World Series and the three-time A.L. All-Star matched baseball Hall of Fame second basemen Rogers Hornsby, Nap Laojoie and Joe Morgan for hitting prowess over four-year span ('92-'95), hitting .315 with 75 home runs and 389 RBI. Baerga became the first switch-hitter to hit homers from both sides of the plate in same inning, April 7, 1993.
The 2017 will be Hawkins 10th with the Indians and first as assistant general manager. Hawkins was promoted to his new title following the 2016 season, which was his second as the Director of Player Personnel. Hawkins oversees all aspects of the Indians farm system, including the organization's six minor league affiliates and Dominican Summer League team. He leads the development and implementation of Player Development philosophies, programs and systems, while directing staffing and personnel decisions for the department. It is the goal of the Indians Player Development System to fully develop the whole athlete while providing each player and staff member with practical development tools and resources.
Inaugural Hot Stove Banquet Details:
When: Fri., Feb. 3 at 4:30 p.m. (Doors), 6:00 p.m. (Dinner), with program and Q & A to follow
Where: Hilton Garden Inn - Akron (1307 E. Market St., Akron, Ohio, 44305)
Who: Cleveland Indians Hall of Famer Carlos Baerga and Assistant General Manager Carter Hawkins
What: Cocktails, Silent Auction, Dinner/Dessert, Program, Q & A Session, Autographs
Tickets: $75 per person; $550 per table of eight; To purchase: (330) 253-5151 or akronrubberducks.com
Business attire suggested
A portion of the proceeds benefits WABL
The Akron RubberDucks are the Double-A affiliate of the Cleveland Indians and defending Eastern League champions. The 2017 season will be the franchise's 21st since moving to Akron and its fourth since becoming the RubberDucks. The 20th year of Canal Park kicks off with the Home Opener on Thursday, April 6, at 6:35 p.m. vs. Bowie Baysox.
For more information about the team, please visit the RubberDucks' website, www.akronrubberducks.com, Facebook page www.facebook.com/AkronRubberDucks, Twitter feed @AkronRubberDuck, and Instagram at @akronrubberducks.