Alomar and Wickman Headline Minor League Hot Stove Events in February

Two former Cleveland Indians All-Stars will return to northeast Ohio this month to engage fans at special events hosted by a pair of Cleveland farm clubs.

Hall of Fame second baseman Roberto Alomar and 15-year Major League pitcher Bob Wickman will be the headliners for annual offseason fan events held by the Akron RubberDucks and the Lake County Captains, respectively. Both events are scheduled for early February.

Alomar, a member of the Hall of Fame Class of 2011, will speak to fans at the RubberDucks’ annual Hot Stove Banquet, held on Friday, February 9, from the Hilton Garden Inn in Akron. Alomar will engage fans, who will have the opportunity to talk to him about his three seasons in Cleveland with the Indians as well as the rest of his 17-year career spent with the San Diego Padres, Toronto Blue Jays, Baltimore Orioles, New York Mets, Chicago White Sox, and Arizona Diamondbacks. The event will take place just days after his 50th birthday.

During his Hall of Fame career, Alomar hit .307 and made 12 consecutive All-Star teams, with the final three of those appearances coming with the Indians. He was also a ten-time Gold Glove winner and four-time Silver Slugger.

Alomar - Joshua Gunter/The Plain Dealer
Alomar – Joshua Gunter/The Plain Dealer

“We are thrilled to have Robbie Alomar headlining the RubberDucks Hot Stove Banquet,” said RubberDucks General Manager Jim Pfander in a media release in December. “Last year’s event was a lot of fun and exceeded our expectations. To follow that up with one of the greatest players in baseball history for this year, should only help the Hot Stove become a staple event in Northeast Ohio.”

A portion of the proceeds from the Hot Stove Banquet will benefit the West Akron Baseball & Softball League (WABL). The event will also feature a silent auction with items from current members of the Indians and the RubberDucks as well as items donated by Alomar. Following dinner and a question-and-answer session, those in attendance will have the opportunity to meet Alomar and get autographs.

Also joining Alomar at the event will be longtime Akron Beacon Journal writer Sheldon Ocker. After spending more than 30 years talking Tribe for the ABJ, he was named the winner of the J.G. Taylor Spink Award for meritorious contributions to baseball writing last month and will be recognized during the Hall of Fame Class of 2018 ceremonies from Cooperstown, New York, in July.

For tickets or more information on the Hot Stove Banquet, click here.

The Lake County Captains announced on Monday that Wickman will be the featured guest for their 16th annual Hot Stove Dinner on Thursday, February 8, from 6 PM to 9 PM at the Holiday Inn Mentor in the Lakeshore Ballroom.

Wickman spent parts of 15 big league seasons in the Majors and was a two-time All-Star. He joined the Indians in a trade deadline deal with the Milwaukee Brewers just weeks after appearing in his first All-Star Game in 2000, then returned to the Midsummer Classic again with the Indians in 2005 on the way to a career-high and American League leading 45 saves that season as Cleveland fell just short of the playoffs. He remains the Indians’ all-time leader in career saves with 139 in 156 opportunities.

The right-hander entered the pro game with the Chicago White Sox before a trade to the New York Yankees. He began his Major League career as a starter, winning as many as 14 games with the Yankees in 1993, before transitioning into a permanent spot in the bullpen. In addition to his time with the Yankees, Brewers, and Indians, Wickman pitched for Atlanta in 2006 and both the Braves and the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2007.

Joining the former Tribe All-Star closer will be the Captains’ manager for the 2018 season (who is yet to be announced). Other guests may be announced at a later date.

Regular Hot Stove Dinner tickets are $30 for adults and $20 for kids (ages 4-12), with a limit of 175 reservations available. Special VIP packages (limited to 50) are available for $50 per person and includes hors d’oeuvres, cocktails, and non-alcoholic beverages while visiting with the guests prior to the event.

A 50/50 raffle and an auction of Captains, Indians, Cleveland Browns, and other baseball memorabilia will be held throughout the evening. Proceeds from the auction will benefit Captains Charities.

For more information on the Hot Stove Dinner, click here.

Photo: Cleveland Indians (Twitter)

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