FUNNVILLE - The Richmond Flying Squirrels announced the initial wave of celebrity guests for their annual Charity Hot Stove Banquet on Thursday. Flying Squirrels manager Willie Harris, a pair of Richmond-native Flying Squirrels, Matt Winn and Connor Overton, and major-league pitcher Tyler Beede will be on hand for the event, which will be held at the Siegel Center on January 23 at 5:30 p.m.
Proceeds from the Charity Hot Stove Banquet benefit Flying Squirrels Charities, which focuses on "Renovating Richmond's Recreation," a project dedicated to rebuilding youth baseball fields in Richmond in partnership with Barton Malow and City of Richmond Parks, Recreation & Community Facilities.
Tickets, tables and sponsorship packages for the event are available here. Flying Squirrels Season Ticket Members are eligible for a discounted rate on tickets by contacting the front office.
"Tyler Beede is a total class act on and off the field, and we will also have the highlight of hearing from two local products who watched the Squirrels as youngsters before going on to wear the hometown uniform," Flying Squirrels VP & COO Todd "Parney" Parnell said. "It will be a neat night all the way around. Add the energy of Willie Harris and the Hot Stove will be lit!"
Harris played 12 major-league seasons and was part of the Chicago White Sox World Series title run in 2005. Overall, he played 1,046 MLB games for the White Sox, Washington Nationals, New York Mets, Atlanta Braves, Boston Red Sox, Cincinnati Reds and Baltimore Orioles. A native of Cairo, Ga., Harris notably scored the lone run in Game 4 of the 2005 World Series, reaching base on an eighth-inning, pinch-hit single, as the White Sox capped a sweep of the Houston Astros. He began his managerial career with the Winston-Salem Dash (A-Adv., White Sox) in 2017 before leading the Flying Squirrels in 2018.
Beede, a first-round draft pick (14th overall) by the San Francisco Giants in 2014 out of Vanderbilt, spent parts of the 2015 and 2016 seasons with the Flying Squirrels before making his MLB debut in San Francisco on April 10, 2018. As a member of the Flying Squirrels, Beede was selected for the prestigious MLB All-Star Futures Game in Cincinnati in 2015 and earned an Eastern League All-Star selection in 2016 while leading the circuit with a 2.81 ERA. The Worcester, Mass. native was ranked as the Giants' No. 1 prospect by MLB.com and Baseball America in 2017.
Winn was an All-District catcher at JR Tucker High School before continuing his career at Virginia Military Institute. With the Keydets, Winn was a Second-Team All-Big South catcher and was named to the Johnny Bench Award watch list three times, including being named as a finalist during his redshirt-senior season in 2015. That year, he also became the first VMI player to earn a selection to an upper-class All-American team, being named a Louisville Slugger Third-Team All-American. Winn was drafted by the Giants in the 14th round in 2015 and was named an MiLB.com San Francisco Organization All-Star in 2016. He spent parts of the last three seasons with the Flying Squirrels, becoming the first-ever Richmond-area native to play for the franchise.
Overton attended Atlee High School in Mechanicsville prior to his collegiate career at Old Dominion University. After playing two seasons and appearing in 44 games with the Monarchs, he was drafted by the Miami Marlins in the 15th round in 2014. He joined the Washington Nationals organization in 2015 and reached the Triple-A level before spending most of 2016 with the independent Sioux City Explorers. Overton signed with the Giants later that year and joined the Flying Squirrels for seven appearances, including two starts, during the 2018 season.
Additional celebrity guests as well as the winner of the annual Paul Keyes RBI Award, which is set to be presented during the Charity Hot Stove Banquet, will be announced on a later date.
Through Flying Squirrels Charities' "Renovating Richmond's Recreation" project, work has been done to improve youth baseball fields at Bellemeade Community Center, Blackwell Community Center, Powhatan Community Center, Fairfield Field, Henderson Complex, Hotchkiss Field, Westover Community Center, Lucks Field, Parker Field and Martin Luther King Jr. Field.
For the first time ever, the Flying Squirrels host the 2019 Eastern League All-Star Game presented by Genworth on July 10 at The Diamond. Tickets can be purchased at the Flying Squirrels Ticket Office, located on the first-base side of The Diamond, or online at squirrelsbaseball.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.