CHARLESTON, S.C. - Already boasting a two-time World Series Champion in attendance, the RiverDogs' Hot Stove Banquet will now also feature special guests Justin Smoak, Chris Singleton, and Mike Veeck. The club has announced that Smoak, a former Stratford High School and University of South Carolina standout - and current Toronto Blue Jay --, will join Johnny Damon as the headliners for the 15th edition of the annual event on Friday, February 1, presented by Tom McQueeney State Farm.
Smoak, who's been a Major Leaguer since 2010, has enjoyed his best success in Toronto, where he's slugged 63 home runs in the past two seasons.
The banquet's program will also feature former Charleston Southern standout and current Chicago Cubs farmhand Chris Singleton, a nationally-renowned speaker whose message of forgiveness following the loss of his mother in the Mother Emanuel tragedy helped galvanize the Charleston community. Legendary personality and RiverDogs president emeritus Mike Veeck will join the dais and emcee the event.
"This year's Hot Stove Banquet is special because of the unique mix of personalities from all over the baseball universe. You've got a World Series champion and two of the area's most prolific homegrown talents, all tied together by Mike Veeck's enthusiasm and charisma," said RiverDogs president and General Manager Dave Echols.
For fans who want to get even closer to the action, on sale now are a limited amount of Meet and Greet tickets sponsored by Kickin' Chicken. The Meet and Greet with Johnny Damon and Justin Smoak will take place at The Charleston Gaillard Center from 4:30-5:30pm, preceding the official event. Tickets are available online now at RileyParkEvents.com. A combination ticket to the Meet and Greet and the Hot Stove Banquet is $135, and a ticket to the Banquet only are $85. The RiverDogs are the Class A affiliate of the New York Yankees in the South Atlantic League. www.riverdogs.com
To add a Meet and Greet ticket to an existing Banquet ticket, please contact the RiverDogs box office directly at 843-577-3647.
Headlining this year's ticket, Damon enjoyed an impressive 18-year career in the Big Leagues, most notably with the Red Sox and Yankees. A first-round pick in the 1992 Amateur Draft, the Orlando, Fla. product quickly established himself as a dynamic leadoff hitter when he debuted with the Royals in 1995. Over the course of an illustrious career, the two-time All-Star accrued over 2,700 hits with seven different teams while batting .284, hitting 109 home runs, stealing 408 bases and posting a .352 career on-base percentage. He is one of 75 players in baseball history to have stolen 400 or more bases. After signing as a free agent with the Red Sox in 2002, Damon helped bring the city of Boston their first World Series title in 86 years as part of the Sox's historic 2004 run. After flipping sides to New York two seasons later, he was an instrumental piece of the Yankees' 2009 championship team.
For tickets to the Hot Stove Banquet, The Meet and Greet and additional information, please contact the RiverDogs Special Events Department at (843) 577-DOGS (3647) or visit www.RileyParkEvents.com.
On the heels of their second straight year eclipsing 300,000 fans through the turnstiles, the RiverDogs have already begun preparations for another year down at The Joe. RiverDogs season tickets, including options to the Riley Park Club, are now available for the 2019 campaign by contacting the RiverDogs front office at 843-577-3647 (DOGS). The RiverDogs begin their home schedule on April 11 when they host the Greensboro Grasshoppers at The Joe, preceded by a weeklong road trip. A full schedule and list of game times for the 2019 season is available at riverdogs.com.
Previous Hot Stove Speakers
2018 - Andruw Jones & Ryan Klesko
2017 - Tom Glavine
2016 - Ryne Sandberg
2015 - Goose Gossage & Brett Gardner
2014 - Phil Niekro & Javy Lopez
2013 - Wade Boggs
2012 - John Smoltz
2011 - Bobby Cox
2010 - Dale Murphy
2009 - Gaylord Perry
2008 - Jeff Francoeur
2007 - Tommy John
2006 - Jim Bouton
2005 - Bobby Richardson
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.