SPRINGDALE, AR - The Northwest Arkansas Naturals will host the Naturals' Host Stove Luncheon in cooperation with the Springdale Rotary Club on Monday, January 20th at the Holiday Inn in Springdale.
The lunch program will run from noon until 1pm with doors opening at 11:30am for the event. Naturals' manager Vance Wilson and former Naturals LHP Buddy Baumann will be on hand to meet and greet fans, sign autographs, and take questions from Naturals fans during a scheduled Q & A session. Justin Cole, the Naturals General Manager, is also scheduled to speak and provide some updates on the planning for our 2014 season. Steven Davis, the voice of the Naturals throughout the first six seasons, is scheduled to be the emcee of the event.
Admission is $25 per person which includes a buffet lunch, and all fans are encouraged to call (479) 927-4900 in advance of the event to purchase tickets their tickets. Rotary club members of Northwest Arkansas may reserve their seats to the luncheon by contacting Courtney Palfreeman at (479) 530-8060.
Wilson joins the Naturals as the second manager in franchise history in 2014. No stranger to Northwest Arkansas, the veteran catcher of 409 games across eight major league season resides in Springdale and played 59 games for the Naturals during the 2009 season.
Following his retirement as an active player in 2010, Wilson remained in the Royals organization as a minor league manager. Kansas City appointed Wilson as the manager for the Class-A Kane County Cougars in the Midwest League for the 2011 season in the club's first of two seasons affiliated with Kansas City. Wilson spent the next two seasons at the helm of the Class-A Advanced Wilmington Blue Rocks in the Carolina League. In three season, the 40-year old owns a managerial record of 194-225 (.463) and had previously managed 29 members of the 2013 Naturals roster.
Buddy Baumann, a Joplin-native, spent parts of the 2011 and 2012 season with the Naturals, in addition to a two-game stint in 2014 that coincided with a Naturals road trip. The left-handed pitcher appeared in 30 games for the Class-AAA Omaha Storm Chasers compiling a 2.76 ERA in 49 innings with 66 strikeouts, while allowing 23 walks and 49 hits. The 26-year old held left-handed batters to a .226 batting average and has not allowed a homerun to a left-handed hitter in over three years. A former Texas League All-Star, Baumann was drafted in the 2009 MLB June Draft out of Missouri State University and was the Royals 2010 Mike Sweeney Award Winner given to the player who best represents the organization on and off the field.
The Seventh Season of Naturals Baseball begins Thursday, April 3, 2014 in Frisco, TX. The team opens at Arvest Ballpark on Thursday April 10, 2014 against the same Frisco RoughRiders.
The Northwest Arkansas Naturals are the Double-A Texas League Affiliate of the Kansas City Royals. The Naturals play at state-of-the-art Arvest Ballpark in Springdale, AR. For more information including statistics, ticket options, and more, please visit NWANaturals.com, and follow us on Twitter @NWANaturals and Facebook.com/Naturals.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.