The Shorebirds Hot Stove Banquet, which will begin at 5pm with a cocktail hour, will feature a new format. In addition to traditional guest speakers, the Shorebirds will host a roundtable conversation about a litany of topics. Guests will have the opportunity to engage the panelists during the roundtable and throughout the night.
"The new format really lends itself to passionate baseball fans that want to talk about the sport with those that cover it on a regular basis," said general manager Chris Bitters. "The MASNsports.com guys do a great job of covering the Orioles and the minor leagues so I look forward to having them at the banquet."
Kubatko, who authors the blog "School of Roch" on MASNsports.com, has been covering the Orioles since 1997 when he worked for the Baltimore Sun. After a 22-year stint at the Baltimore newspaper, Kubatko joined MASN in August of 2008 as a sports reporter and on-air talent. Kubatko appears frequently on a variety of MASN programming.
Melewski joined MASNsports.com as its first employee in March of 2008. From 1993-2003, he was heard on WBAL Radio, where he hosted a sports talk show and the pregame and postgame shows during Orioles radio broadcasts. In 2011, he returned to the Baltimore airwaves, hosting the "Baltimore Baseball Tonight" postgame show on 105.7 The Fan.
Kerzel, who joined MASN in January of 2011, is the managing editor of MASNsports.com. He is responsible for overseeing the sports news coverage on MASNsports.com and is also a contributing blogger. Kerzel has been a freelance writer for The Associated Press since 1981 covering mid-Atlantic professional teams including the Orioles, Capitals, Ravens and Wizards. Kerzel also served as editor of the Catonsville Times and Arbutus Times.
"MASNsports.com is built on the interaction between fans and bloggers, and when it comes to vocal, passionate fans, you can't beat those on the Eastern Shore. Roch, Steve and I love talking baseball and we can't wait to field questions from the Shorebirds faithful at the Hot Stove Banquet," said Pete Kerzel, the managing editor of MASNsports.com.
In addition to the MASNsports.com bloggers, Shorebirds manager Ryan Minor will serve as a guest speaker at the event. Minor, who excelled on the field for the Shorebirds in 1997 and played four years in the major leagues, has accumulated 114 wins as skipper of the Shorebirds over the past two seasons. Former Shorebirds manager, Gary Kendall (2005-07), is also scheduled to attend the banquet. Kendall, who was promoted to manager of Double-A Bowie in 2011, won 204 games during his tenure with the Shorebirds, second most in franchise history.
Orioles' assistant director of player development Tripp Norton will be in attendance to speak about the farm system and potential prospects that could arrive on Delmarva in 2012.
Shorebirds executives Chris Bitters (General Manager) and Pat Filipone (President, 7th Inning Stretch, LP) will also speak about the future of the franchise and what to expect in 2012.
Following the cocktail hour from 5-6pm, the program and dinner will proceed from 6-8pm. The dinner will be catered by the Delmar VFW.
Tickets are on sale now for $25 per seat through the Delmarva Shorebirds. To order, contact Shawn Schoolcraft at 410-219-3112 ext. 168.
For more information, visit www.theshorebirds.com.
The Delmarva Shorebirds are the Class "A" Affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles. The Shorebirds are owned by 7th Inning Stretch, L.P., the same company that owns the Stockton Ports of the California League and the Everett AquaSox of the Northwest League. The Shorebirds were the proud hosts of the 2011 South Atlantic League "Strike Out Hunger" All-Star Game presented by Perdue that drew 7,410 fans. For more information, call the Shorebirds at 410-219-3112.
The Shorebirds are celebrating 17-years of professional baseball on the Eastern Shore. During the 2009 season, the Shorebirds finished with an average attendance of 3,567 fans, the largest average since the 2002 season. In 2007, The Shorebirds had the top attendance based on market size in Minor League Baseball(tm), according to Sports Business Journal (Aug. 2008). In 2010, more than 6,000 fans packed Arthur W. Perdue Stadium nine times including a season high of 8,993 fans on August 7th. In 2011, the Shorebirds welcomed ten crowds of over 5,000 fans.
The Shorebirds were established in 1996 by an investor team headed by legendary chicken company owner, the late Frank Perdue. The Shorebirds have called Arthur W. Perdue home ever since. For more information about the Delmarva Shorebirds call 410-219-3112 or visit www.theshorebirds.com