Woodbridge, VA-The Potomac Nationals are excited to announce that their 19th Annual Hot Stove Banquet and Silent Sports Auction, the official off-season kick-off event for the 2014 campaign, will be held on Sunday, January 26th, 2014 from 5:30pm to 8:00pm at the Hyatt Fairfax at Fair Lakes.
Friends of the Potomac Nationals including the P-Nats' fan base, booster club members, sponsors, and members of the general public will bask in an evening of Nationals hot stove banter while enjoying great food and a sprawling silent sports memorabilia auction to benefit S.P.A.R.K. (Supporting Partnerships and Resources for Kids), the Education Foundation for Prince William County Public Schools.
The ballroom crowd will have the opportunity to meet the new Field Manager of the 2014 Potomac Nationals, Tripp Keister, the club has announced.
Keister (pronounced 'KEY-sterr'), 43, was promoted to lead the P-Nats from the same post with Hagerstown, a club he guided to the 2013 South Atlantic League Championship Series following an (80-57) regular season record.
Keister becomes the 26th manager in the history of the Potomac franchise and enters his third campaign inside the Washington Nationals Minor League system after spearheading the Gulf Coast League Nationals during the 2012 season.
"Anytime you get ready to start back up in baseball, it's an exciting time. I am very much looking forward to attending the hot stove banquet to meet the Potomac Nationals' front office team, fans, booster club members, and sponsors," said Keister.
The new Nationals skipper will address the crowd on hand for the hot stove banquet and silent auction to introduce his style of managing to the P-Nats' faithful and field questions about the club.
Prior to his professional coaching experience, Keister served as Head Baseball Coach and Associate Athletic Director at Wesley College in Dover, Delaware (NCAA Div. III) from 2006 through 2011 where he earned a Conference Coach of the Year Award, and a school record 30 wins in 2007.
Keister also previously made an assistant coaching stop at the University of South Carolina (NCAA Div. I) from 1996 to 1998, and held the head coaching position at Delaware State University (NCAA Div. I) from 1999 to 2000.
Additionally, the new skipper at the helm of the Potomac Nationals served as an amateur scout for the San Diego Padres.
"I've heard great things about the P-Nats' organization from their community outreach programs to their in-game promotions to the terrific booster club that does a great job taking care of the players."
"I am confident the Potomac Nationals as a whole are set up for a banner 2014 season and I can't wait to get to work," asserted Keister.
The hallmark team gathering will also feature 2013 Potomac Nationals Player of the Year, Outfielder, Michael Taylor.
Taylor, 22, a native of Coral Springs, FL selected by the Washington Nationals in the 6th round of the 2009 MLB Draft out of Westminster Academy (FL), had a breakout season in 2013 establishing career highs in games (133), batting average (.263), runs scored (79), hits (134), doubles (41), runs batted in (87), walks (55), sacrifice flies (7), stolen bases (51), on-base percentage (.340), and on-base plus slugging percentage (.766).
A defensive wizard in center field with a cannon for a right arm, Taylor stashed a Carolina League-best 21 outfield assists to complement his potent bat.
After collecting a trio of Carolina League Player of the Week Awards during his 2013 career year, Taylor was selected to the year-end circuit All-Star team.
Named the eleventh-best prospect in Washington's farm system by Baseball America entering the 2013 season, Taylor finished off his terrific campaign ranked second in the Nationals' Minor League system in both RBIs and stolen bases.
Additional guest speakers including members of the Washington Nationals set to attend the banquet to address the State of the Nats will be announced closer to the event.
The hot stove banquet will include an open cocktail hour from 5:30pm to 6:30pm during a silent sports memorabilia auction that will continue until 7:45pm. A plated dinner and the full program will run from 6:30pm to approximately 8:00pm.
The Nationals will recognize Taylor as the most outstanding Potomac Nationals performer from the 2013 season while also distinguishing the 2013 Fan of the Year, and 2013 Employee of the Year, in addition to Prince William County's 2013 Softball and Baseball Players of the Year during the program.
"Our annual hot stove event is truly the official kick-off to the 2014 season. This is a night filled with great Nationals talk as our fans enjoy delicious food while sharing their baseball stories and participating in an unbelievable sports auction that benefits S.P.A.R.K of Prince William County. It's also a time to reflect on our amazing 2013 season and present what we have planned for 2014; both on the promotional side and on the field," says Potomac Nationals Vice President/General Manager, Josh Olerud.
Save the date, 1/26/14, to join the discussion on all the latest hot stove news and notes on P-Nats Baseball with front office executives, special guests, and Nats fans from around the region.
The Potomac Nationals Hot Stove Banquet and Silent Auction is open to the public, however, RSVPs must be placed before the event, and tickets must be purchased in advance of the night's festivities. No payment for banquet tickets will be accepted at the door.
To place an RSVP, please contact Potomac Nationals Business Operations Manager, Shawna Hooke at 703-590-2311 ext. 212.
NOTE: The RSVP deadline to attend the P-Nats Hot Stove Banquet and Silent Auction is January 21st, 2014 at 5:00pm EST. A "Save the Date" for the banquet is attached.
The Hyatt Fairfax at Fair Lakes is located at: 12777 Fair Lakes Circle Fairfax, Virginia, 22033.
Please call 703-590-2311 to receive more details on the 2014 P-Nats Hot Stove Banquet and Silent Auction at Hyatt Fairfax at Fair Lakes.
The Hyatt Fairfax at Fair Lakes will host the Potomac Nationals and their guests in one of their versatile ballrooms. Conveniently located off Route 66, this AAA Three Diamond hotel in Fairfax Virginia is located within minutes of premier shopping malls, major corporate offices, both Dulles and Reagan National airports, and the landmark sights of Washington, DC.
S.P.A.R.K.'s mission is to engage community partners to fund and promote initiatives that enhance educational excellence. Organizational priorities include: bolstering student achievement through the Innovative Grants program and other special projects, encouraging family involvement in education through the "SchoolFusion" online parent communication system, creating meaningful dialogue between the schools and the community, and uniting community resources to invest in public schools
The Potomac Nationals of the Carolina League play at Pfitzner Stadium in Woodbridge, Virginia, and are the Class-A Advanced affiliate of the Washington Nationals. P-Nats 2014 season tickets and mini plans are now on sale. Sponsorship opportunities for the 2014 season and beyond are available. Plan your corporate outing now for the 2014 season to see the future stars of the Washington Nationals at The Pfitz as the P-Nats offer discounted group rates and all-inclusive picnic options. Visit the P-Nats online at www.potomacnationals.com or call the Potomac Nationals Ticket Office at 703-590-2311 for more information!
-- Potomac Nationals --
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.