SAVE THE DATE: Will Clark returns to Fresno on January 31

San Francisco Giants legend and former Fresno Giant to be featured guest at 59th Anniversary Hot Stove Gala

By Fresno Grizzlies | August 26, 2019 3:36 PM

VISIT http://bit.ly/HotStove2020Tix TO BUY TICKETS AT EARLY-BIRD RATES! PRICES WILL RISE BEGINNING TUESDAY, SEPT. 3.

The keynote speaker has been announced for the Fresno Grizzlies' annual Hot Stove Gala, to take place at Chukchansi Park the evening of Friday, January 31.  Six-time Major League All-Star first baseman Will Clark will be the featured guest of the 59th anniversary event.  For the first time since 2003, Hot Stove will be held at the home of the Grizzlies, including a VIP reception (5:30-6:30) with Clark and the rest of the talent in the Kodiak Club presented by KY Farming, cocktail hour (5:30-6:30) at "Fresno Social" on the left field side of Chukchansi Park, dinner (7:00) and program (7:45) on the field under heated tents.

Will Clark is a veteran of 15 MLB seasons with the San Francisco Giants (1986-1993), Texas Rangers (1994-1998), Baltimore Orioles (1999-2000) and St. Louis Cardinals (2000).  Before compiling 2,176 hits and 284 homers in the big leagues, Clark made his professional debut with the Fresno Giants of the California League in 1985, coming to Euless Park from Mississippi State University after being selected second overall in that year's draft by San Francisco.  Clark would play only 71 minor league games prior to becoming a big leaguer in 1986, 65 of which were with Fresno.  

With the Giants, Clark was selected to five consecutive all-star games between 1988 and 1992, and finished top five in National League MVP voting four of five seasons between 1987 and 1991.  Clark twice was the NL Silver Slugger award winner at first base, in 1989 (led league with 104 runs scored) and again in 1991 (led NL with a .536 slugging percentage and 303 total bases).  During his all-star debut season of 1988, Clark led the National League with 109 RBI and 100 walks.  Retiring as a player after the 2000 season having played nearly 2,000 Major League games, Clark's career ended with a .303 lifetime MLB batting average.

The San Francisco Giants have announced that Clark's number 22 will be retired next season.  In 2008 he was a member of the organization's inaugural Wall-of-Fame class, celebrating 50 seasons of Major League Baseball in the Bay Area.

Additional talent to speak and participate in a Q&A session at the event will be announced in the coming weeks.  Individual early bird tickets for only $75 may be purchased by visiting http://bit.ly/HotStove2020Tix and at the Chukchansi Park ticket office during usual business hours (prices will rise beginning Sept. 3).  Individual VIP meet and greet tickets are currently $200.  VIP tables are $2,000 apiece, and include:  Seating for 10 guests, admission to the VIP meet and greet with the talent for 10 guests, and a bottle of wine at the table.

The annual Hot Stove Gala is organized by the Fresno Grizzlies' department of community engagement.  The charitable arm of the Grizzlies is raffling off a 2020 Toyota Corolla Hybrid LE in conjunction with one of the club's major sponsors, and the winner will be drawn at the event on January 31.  Tickets may be purchased for five dollars apiece or five for $20 at the Fresno Grizzlies Team store at Chukchansi Park or online.

All proceeds from the Hot Stove Gala and the car raffle will benefit multiple Fresno-area and Central Valley youth baseball programs; the Grizzlies will use the funds to help renovate fields.  Youth teams and organizations may submit video nominations on why their field(s) are in need at this link.

For sponsorship opportunities, please contact Jason Hannold at jhannold@fresnogrizzlies.com or 559.320.2552.

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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