FRESNO, Calif. - San Francisco Giants pitcher Ryan Vogelsong and Detroit Tigers hurler - and Central Valley native - Doug Fister, both fresh off playing in the 2012 World Series, will be among the guest speakers at the 52nd Anniversary Hot Stove Gala on Thursday, February 7th, 2013 at the New Exhibit Hall Convention Center in Downtown Fresno. Grizzlies manager Bob Mariano will also be on hand for the event to speak and take part in the festivities. The Hot Stove Gala benefits the Fresno Grizzlies Community Fund, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that manages community programs such as Wild About Reading, Farm Grown and Junior Grizzlies.
"This lineup of speakers truly represents what baseball means in the Central San Joaquin Valley today," said Grizzlies Managing General Partner and Team President Chris Cummings. "With Ryan, a Grizzlies pitcher first in the Beiden Field years and reaching the top of the baseball world last year, to Doug, a pitcher who ascended from Fresno State's campus to the World Series stage, the night will be filled with plenty of fun and amazing stories. Plus, Grizzlies fans will be able to see our great manager Bob Mariano before the start of what hopes to be another successful season."
Tickets are currently available for the dinner. In addition to guest speakers from the world of baseball, awards to local high schools and high school players will be presented. The Al Radka Award will also be announced and presented during the dinner. Tickets are $75 for adults and $30 for children (12 and under). An All-Star Table (includes 10 tickets) is available for $700. To purchase tickets, please call Grizzlies Community Fund Manager Whitney Campbell at (559) 320-2547. All guests are asked to RSVP by Thursday, January 31, 2013.
Vogelsong, 35, has spent the last two seasons with the Giants after starting each campaign as the Grizzlies' Opening Day starting pitcher. He was one of the starting rotation stalwarts for the Giants during their 2012 World Series run, including a 3-0 record with a 1.09 ERA in four postseason starts. The right-hander was named a National League All-Star in 2011 as well as the 2011 Willie Mac Award winner, an honor bestowed upon the most inspirational player on the team as voted upon by Giants players, coaches, training staff and fans. The Pennsylvania native was originally drafted by the Giants in the fifth round of the 1998 First-Year Player Draft out of Kutztown University of Pennsylvania. He has pitched for the Grizzlies in 2001, 2011 and 2012.
Fister, 28, is a local product from Merced Junior College and Fresno State who has gone on to pitch in the pros for the last seven seasons. He made 26 starts for the Detroit Tigers in 2012 as well as three starts during the postseason. The right-hander has spent each of the last four seasons in the Majors. In 2011, Fister finished fourth in the American League with a 2.83 ERA after splitting the campaign with the Seattle Mariners and Tigers. The Merced, California native was drafted by Seattle in the seventh round of the 2006 First-Year Player Draft, and he was later traded to the Detroit Tigers during the 2011 campaign. Fister was first drafted by the Giants in the 49th round of the 2003 June Draft out of Merced Junior College, but he elected not to sign.
Mariano, 55, will enter his second season as the manager of the Grizzlies in 2013. In his first year with the club, Mariano led the Grizzlies to a 74-70 record, which was the fifth winning season in team history. The 2013 season also marks Mariano's ninth season with the San Francisco organization after serving as the Coordinator of Minor League Hitting Instruction from 2005 to 2011. Mariano has previously coached in the Baltimore Orioles, New York Yankees, Milwaukee Brewers, Arizona Diamondbacks and Los Angeles Dodgers organizations.
About the Fresno Grizzlies
The Fresno Grizzlies are the Pacific Coast League (Triple-A) affiliate of the 2012 World Series Champion San Francisco Giants and play all of their home games at Chukchansi Park in Downtown Fresno. Since the Grizzlies' inaugural season in 1998, 192 players have worn both a Grizzlies and Giants uniform in their careers, including Farm Grown stars 2012 National League MVP Buster Posey and two-time Cy Young winner Tim Lincecum. The organization has been consistently recognized as not only a development stage of championship talent to the Giants, but also a supplier of award-winning entertainment and promotions for all ages. For more information about tickets, please call (559) 320-TIXS or visit www.FresnoGrizzlies.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.