(Courtesy of Scott
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
"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.
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