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Rock Cats Hot Stove Luncheon a Winner

Released 17 January 2014

Hot Stove Luncheon(Courtesy of Scott Blanchette Photography)

Rock Cats Hot Stove Luncheon a Winner

With only a month to go till pitchers and catchers!

NEW BRITAIN - The New Britain Rock Cats Foundation held its annual Hot Stove Luncheon on January 16 in Central Connecticut State University’s Student Center Ballroom. The room was packed with baseball executives, players, loyal fans, and friends who all turned out to hear plans for the upcoming season. Besides being New Britain’s favorite Minor League Baseball team, the Rock Cats are one of The Salvation Army’s biggest supporters!

Hot Stove Luncheon

"The Rock Cats have been very good to the New Britain Salvation Army. Whether it is Christmas in July, Rocky’s Birthday Party, Winterfest, or any of the other special events that the team holds to benefit the Army, we are forever in their debt," commented Major Wilder Garcia. "The Rock Cats organization is truly first-class. We appreciate the support of the team, its management and their fans, and we thank them for all they do to help!"

The voice of the Rock Cats, Jeff Dooley, served as the Master of Ceremonies, welcoming everyone and getting the program started right on time. He introduced Josh Solomon, Principle Owner of the team, who then introduced the Mayor of New Britain, Erin Stewart.

Hot Stove Luncheon

Next came a delicious lunch, which was followed by some serious, but entertaining, baseball talk. Jeff Smith, Manager; Ryan O’Rourke, Rock Cats Pitcher; and Chris Colabello, New Britain “alum” and current Minnesota Twins Infielder/Outfielder all addressed the crowd. Team President Bill Dowling was also recognized for all of his accomplishments and contributions to the community. Specifically, a permanent award was named in honor of Bill and will be presented by the Rock Cats Foundation each year to an outstanding individual. Under Bill’s exceptional leadership, the team has prospered – a true jewel in the community.

The presentation of the Triple Crown Award was up next. This award is given to a local organization that has demonstrated a deep and enduring commitment to the community. This year’s recipient was the Community Foundation of Greater New Britain. The award was accepted by Jim Williamson, President.

The main speaker for the lunch was Minnesota Twins Director of Minor League Operations, Brad Steil. Brad gave the audience a better understanding of how the system works, how the talent improves, and how the athletes’ progress is measured from season to season. After the raffle concluded the event, The Salvation Army left, still full of thanks, and wishes the Rock Cats another successful season!

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