Williamsport Crosscutters 9th Annual Hot Stove Banquet

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Its been almost a decade since the Williamsport Crosscutters held their first Hot Stove Banquet.  On the night of January 19th, baseball fans were invited to sit back, relax, eat some good food, and here stories from the celebrity guests.  This year the guest list included Phillies Manager Ryne Sandberg, Denny McLain, Crosscutters Manager and 1992 World Series MVP Pat Borders, and Pat Gillick.  Other members of the Phillies organization were also there in attendance.  Phillies pitcher Ken Giles was suppose to be there, but due to a scheduling conflict he couldn’t make it.

For a ticket price of $49.00, I believe you get one heck of a deal.  That includes a full chicken dinner, salad, and cake.  Plus at the conclusion of the event you can get autographs from the guests, given you get in line fast enough.  Some guests stick around longer than others.  Its best to prioritize which autographs you want first, second, and third so you can get in that particular line early.  You never quite know when they’ll cut the line off.  I was able to snag Ryne Sandberg on my bat.

The Chinese auction had a lot of signed baseballs, bobbleheads, and pins.  I threw some tickets into three different bags for bobbleheads, but didn’t win any this time.  They were also giving away a Dellin Betances game-worn Yankees jersey that came with a COA from Steiner.

Right before the autograph session began, they made an announcement that the Phillies had a special gift for everyone as they left.  All attendees were to receive a FREE Chase Utley bobblehead on the way out.  This was an added bonus that I didn’t see coming.  I collect bobbleheads and never had one of Chase Utley before.  This specific Utley bobblehead was a stadium giveaway the Phillies gave out last season.  They must have made some extra.

Overall, it was one of the best Hot Stove Banquets they ever had.  Denny McLain’s story about how he and Tug McGraw went over to Vietnam was very funny.  The bobblehead at the end really put it over the top for me.  Try getting a full meal, autographs, and a bobblehead for $49.00 some place else.  You won’t find it.  I forgot to mention that each seat had a Taney Baseball t-shirt too.

Next year is their 10th anniversary.  I would like to see some 10th anniversary commemorative pins made up to giveaway.  One at each place setting.  Great job everyone!!!

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(Left) Pat Gillick – former Phillies General Manager & 2011 Baseball HOF inductee (Right) Gabe Sinicropi – Crosscutters VP, Marketing & Public Relations

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Pat Borders – current Crosscutters Manager & 1992 World Series MVP

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Ryne Sandberg signature on my bat

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Utley bobblehead

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Taney Baseball t-shirt

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Phillie Phanatic!

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Boomer!

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Crosscutters Host 8th Annual Hot Stove Banquet

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The Crosscutters held their 8th annual Hot Stove Banquet at the Genetti Hotel last evening.  It was a night filled with old friends, new friends, great food, stories, giveaways, and autographs.  Some of the guests included Philadelphia Phillies Manager Ryne Sandberg, Phillies third baseman Cody Asche, and Phillies broadcaster Greg Murphy.  Returning for a second year in a row was Montoursville native and former major league third baseman Tom O’Malley.

Whoever made the decision to hold the Chinese Auction out in the lobby is a genius.  This allowed for more tables in the ballroom and a lot more room to eat at your seat.  In the past things have been a bit cramped.  The only drawback to the evening was that everyone wasn’t able to get autographs from all the guests.  After obtaining signatures from Cody Asche and Greg Murphy, I went to get in line to see Ryne Sandberg.  Unfortunately they cut the line off for Sandberg right in front of me.  That’s alright.  I had never attempted to get three autographs during this sold out event before.  On a positive note though, when I returned to the table I discovered I had won a prize pack from the Chinese Auction.

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Phillies Manager Ryne Sandberg

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Phillies 3B Cody Asche

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Phillies broadcaster Greg Murphy

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The prize pack I won was donated by the State College Spikes.  It included a T-shirt, signed baseball, signed program, and a Stan Belinda mini bobblehead the Spikes gave away last year.

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Williamsport Crosscutters 7th Annual Hot Stove Banquet & Auction

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Last night I attended the 7th annual Williamsport Crosscutters Hot Stove Banquet & Auction.  For the past seven years, the Crosscutters have been bringing in all types of colorful guests to entertain fans while at the same time raising money for a good cause.  This year the guest lineup included Denny McLain, Tom O’Malley, Justin De Fratus, and other members of the baseball community.  Good food, great stories, cool memorabilia, all in the middle of a snow storm.

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View from my seat.  The Genetti Hotel Ballroom was packed.

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Denny McLain is the last pitcher to win 30 games in a single season.  In 1968, he went 31-6.  I highly doubt this will ever happen again.  Listening to his stories about Mickey Mantle and Ted Williams were very fun.  McLain even mentioned that he is in talks to do a potential reality T.V. show.  Given his interesting history, it would probably make for some fun T.V.  Perhaps he and Pete Rose could do a crossover episode.

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Phillies relief pitcher Justin De Fratus (on left)