BELOIT, WI - On Tuesday, February 5th, 2013, the Beloit Snappers will mark the beginning of their relationship with the Oakland Athletics by hosting their 9th Annual Hot Stove Banquet at the Eclipse Center in Beloit.
This event will be the first collaboration between the two clubs since Oakland tabbed Beloit as its new Single-A affiliate in September.
It is also the start of what should be a new and exciting era of Snappers baseball, as the team now finds itself a member of a farm system that is perennially ranked among the best in baseball. Oakland's Midwest League affiliate alone has made the playoffs in each of the last five years.
This new partnership will be heavily reflected in the speakers that will be present at the banquet, three of whom are members of the A's organization. One of them is someone who will no doubt become very familiar to Snappers fans during the season: new manager Ryan Christenson. A native of California, this will be Christenson's first year as a manager in professional baseball. The former Major Leaguer spent the majority of his pro career with Oakland and saw time with the Milwaukee Brewers, among other teams.
Also speaking at the banquet will be two of the longest tenured executives in the Oakland front office. Director of Minor League Operations Ted Polakowski is entering his 30th season with the club, while Keith Lieppman, the Director of Player Development, is now in his 42nd season as a member of the organization. Polakowski began his time with the Athletics in 1984, serving as an athletic trainer with one of their minor league teams and has been in his current position since 1999. Lieppman, who played and managed in the minors with the Athletics, is in year 21 in his present capacity. Both men have been key figures in molding Oakland's minor league system into one of the best in baseball.
Tickets for the Hot Stove Banquet are $40 per person and include dinner, two box seat ticket vouchers for any April Snappers home game in 2013 and the program for the evening. Tables of eight are also available for $300 ($37.50 per ticket). A portion of the evening's proceeds will be donated to Beloit Meals on Wheels.
The festivities will begin at 5:15pm with the silent auction and social hour. Dinner will be served at 6:30pm and the program will start at approximately 7:15pm.
Tickets are currently on sale and can be purchased by calling the Snappers front office at 608-362-2272 or by stopping by Pohlman Field at 2301 Skyline Drive in Beloit.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.