The Aberdeen IronBirds will host a Hot Stove Dinner at Ripken Stadium Thursday evening, part of a series of stops the Baltimore Orioles are making before the 2013 season starts, and attending will be two very notable members of the Major League club, manager Buck Showalter and closer Jim Johnson.
Showalter, who guided the Baltimore club to its first playoff appearance in 15 years during the 2012 season, and Johnson, who led the American League in saves with 51, are the headliners for the dinner, which starts at 6 p.m. and is open to the public. Tickets are $40 each and can be purchased at the IronBirds official website.
"We are excited to kick off the 2013 baseball season by hosting this special Hot Stove Dinner with Buck Showalter and Jim Johnson," Aaron Moszer, Aberdeen IronBirds general manager, said. "This is a great opportunity for our fans to have an exclusive look into the 2013 season before anyone else."
The gates at Ripken Stadium will open at 5:30 p.m. A pre-dinner cocktail hour is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. A buffet-style dinner catered by Bertucci's Restaurant of Bel Air will be ready at 7 p.m. and afterward, the two Orioles will take their places at the front of the crowd.
According to a media release from the IronBirds, MASNsports.com's Steve Melewski will head a discussion on the previous and upcoming baseball seasons, while Showalter and Johnson will provide added commentary. The Baltimore skipper and relief pitcher also will be involved in a Q&A session with fans at the end of the evening.
The first 200 people to purchase tickets to the event will be awarded a pass to the Jan. 19 Orioles FanFest at the Baltimore Convention Center.