In American baseball’s toddler years, fans would spend cold winter off-seasons sitting around cast-iron stoves and talking of the joys of spring and summer—of sacrifice flies, of slides into second, and of the heroes who played hit and catch on fields of green. Kettle stoves have since become obsolete, but the “hot stove” baseball tradition is still played out at winter gatherings held by teams across the country. Among them is Charleston’s Hot Stove Banquet and Silent Auction, served up annually since 2004 by The Citadel Bulldogs and the Charleston RiverDogs.
“It’s a great way to build excitement for the upcoming season while also giving back to the community that supports us,” says RiverDogs general manager Dave Echols of the benefit, which includes a plated dinner and a speech from a famous retired big-leaguer. This year’s special guest? Former Atlanta Braves outfielder Dale Murphy—a two-time National League MVP and seven-time all-star—who will share tales from his storied career, meet with fans, and sign autographs.
To help raise funds for event beneficiaries MUSC’s Storm Eye Institute and The Citadel Foundation, guests can bid on sports memorabilia and more in a silent auction before heading home with an autographed table gift and two passes to the Braves Museum in Atlanta.