Crawdads announce 2012 Hot Stove Banquet

The Hickory Crawdads, South Atlantic League affiliate of the Texas Rangers, announced the details of the 2012 Hot Stove Banquet to be held on Monday, Jan. 30 at Rock Barn Golf & Spa. 

The evening will kick off with a social at 6:15 p.m. with the program and a delicious dinner starting at 7 p.m.

With their 20th anniversary season right around the corner, the Crawdads are digging into the past for the Hot Stove.  

The event will be highlighted by a discussion session, featuring former Crawdads pitcher and pitching coach Dave Lundquist (1994, 2004, 2006-07), former pitcher Neil Ramirez (2009-10), former infielder Josh Bonifay (2000-2001), and former third baseman Chris Mader (1993-1994).  (All speakers are subject to change due to potential baseball obligations.)

Lundquist, a former MLB pitcher with the Chicago White Sox (1999) and the San Diego Padres (2001-2002), pitched for the Crawdads in 1994 and 2004, before returning to the club as a pitching coach for the 2006-07 seasons. 

He is currently the pitching coach in the Philadelphia Phillies system with the High-A Clearwater Threshers.

Ramirez spent the majority of the 2009 season and the entirety of the 2010 campaign with the Crawdads.  

Overall with Hickory, Ramirez went 13-14, along with a 4.54 ERA and 198 strikeouts in 46 total appearances (40 starts). 

The Virginia Beach, Va. native was selected out of high school by Texas in the supplemental 1st round of the 2007 draft.

Bonifay played for the 2000-2001 Crawdads clubs, predominantly as the second baseman while occasionally roaming outfield. 

Bonifay finished his playing career in 2006 with the Corpus Christi Hooks, the AA affiliate of the Houston Astros.

Bonifay is the current hitting coach for the Greeneville Astros, the Rookie affiliate for Houston.

Mader, a member of the inaugural squad in 1993, played in 194 total games for Hickory, patrolling both ends of the diamond at third and first base.  

He serves as the president of Pelham Baseball, which is affiliated with Little League Baseball Incorporated.  

In addition to the excellent panel, the Hot Stove will include season previews from area college and high school coaches, a silent auction and a dinner prepared by Rock Barn.

Tickets for the Hot Stove are only $25, and are available by calling the Front Office at (828) 322-3000. Group tables are also available, and include eight seats for only $200. Space is limited.