Back in the days before the Internet, Twitter and MLBTradeRumors.com, folks whiled away the winter months by sitting around and talking baseball. They didn't wait for the next day's newspaper, the 11 p.m. news or a few seconds of diamond discussion on the radio; they talked among themselves, shared opinions and engaged in meaningful dialogue.
Taking a cue from this old-school approach, the Single-A Delmarva Shorebirds have changed the format of their annual Hot Stove Banquet, which will be held from 5-8 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 28 at the Delmar VFW, 200 W. State St. We at MASNsports.com are proud to be part of the equation.
Yes, dinner will still be served, but fans will enjoy a roundtable discussion with the folks who used to take residence on the dais - MASNsports.com's Roch Kubatko, Steve Melewski and yours truly; Shorebirds manager Ryan Minor and former Delmarva skipper Gary Kendall, who now helms the Double-A Bowie Baysox; Tripp Norton, the Orioles' assistant director of player development; and Shorebirds executives Pat Filipone, the club's president, and Chris Bitters, the team's general manager. Be nice to us, and we might even join you at your table. After all, we like talking baseball as much as you do. Majors, minors, offseason wheeling and dealing, what the Orioles did and what they should have done - we'll talk about all of that, even some Eastern Shore prep baseball. A silent auction will be held to benefit United Way of the Lower Eastern Shore.
Tickets are $25 and can be obtained by calling Shawn Schoolcraft at 410-219-3112, ext. 168. Or you can print out the order form here and mail it to the Shorebirds.
The cocktail hour runs from 5-6 p.m., with the banquet from 6-8 p.m. We'll see you in Delmar on Jan. 28!