||54th Annual Hot Stove League Banquet: A Year of Champions
The Raleigh Hot Stove League will hold its 54th annual banquet on Tuesday, January 27th at the McKimmon Center on the campus of North Carolina State University, beginning at 6:30 PM. Highlighting the event will be a recognition of three North Carolina teams, including the Durham Bulls, that won league titles in 2003 along with a keynote speech by the manager of the World Champion Florida Marlins, Mr. Jack McKeon.
McKeon led the Florida Marlins to a World Series title in 2003 after being named manager on May 11, 2003. At age 72, he is the third oldest manager in major league history behind only Connie Mack (88) and Casey Stengel (75). The Marlins are the fifth team McKeon has managed, along with the Kansas City Royals, Oakland A’s, San Diego Padres and Cincinnati Reds.
Former Boston Red Sox Manager Grady Little and outfielder Trot Nixon will also be in attendance. Little managed the Red Sox to a 95-67 record in the 2003 season, along with a berth in the ALCS. He managed the Durham Bulls from 1988-1991 posting a 286-225 record.
Nixon set a career high in homeruns in 2003 with 28. A native of Durham N.C., Nixon was the Red Sox first round draft selection in 1993 out of New Hanover H. S. in Wilmington N.C.
Cincinnati Reds radio announcer Marty Brennaman will honor the late Stephen Gates as sports broadcaster of the year. Gates, who was tragically killed in a car accident on October 4, 2003, was Director of Media Relations for both the Northeast League and Central League. He served as a radio broadcaster for the University of North Carolina woman’s basketball games, and also baseball games. He also called play-by-play for the Burlington (N.C.) Indians, the Appalachian League affiliate of the Cleveland Indians. He was 27 years old.
The Hot Stove League Banquet was created to stimulate and create interest in baseball in the Triangle area. The event is concerned with promotion of baseball from the little league level all the way to the Major Leagues, honoring baseball legends such as baseball Hall-of-Famer Enos Slaughter, George Steinbrenner, Ted Williams, Johnny VanderMeer and Willie Stargell.
Thanks to DBBC’s Matt DeMargel for this capcom story.