Wednesday, November 15, 2023

November 14, 2023, Wilson Baseball Hot Stove Event

Last night was the 48th annual Wilson Hot Stove event.  I had heard a lot about it, but had never troed to go.  I finally got there, and had a great time.  My good friend, Jesse, met me at the North Carolina Baseball Museum for the pre-event reception, then headed over to the community center for the night's dinner and awards ceremony. 
One of the big draws to this year's event was Reds prospect, Rhett Lowder.  He was there to receive the pitcher of the year award commemorating his season with Wake Forest.  He was really nice and signed cards for Jesse and I.
John Roper was at the museum prior to the event and signed all of the cards I brought with me.  We talked about some of the big contracts that players were signing then also about his hometown of Raeford, NC.  That led to a conversation about his gas fireplace.  Ah, the things we converse about. He was a really cool guy, and seemed genuinely happy to be there. 
A surprise attendee at the event was Trot Nixon.  He had attended the event in years past, but more recently had not been able to come, due to other commitments.  I took a chance and brought some of his cards, and happily got them signed.
I got Jerry Narron on a 1987 Donruss, and upgraded my 1971 Topps Dick Such to blue Sharpie, as opposed to the one he signed in black Sharpie.
This 1970 Topps Senators Rookie Stars card turned out nicely.  Unfortunately, Dick Stelmaszek is no longer with us.  It also doesn't look like Gene Martin signs regularly.
The museum itself is really cool.  There is at least a card for every former major leaguer who came from NC.  There are a ton of signed baseballs and memorabilia.  I want to take some time and visit the museum during regular hours and really take some time to look at everything. 
I had a great time at the hot stove event and would love to go again next year.  There seem to be some big names that come from time to time.  A few years ago, Rod Carew was a guest speaker. I'll hold out hope that some big names come and I can get some great autos there in the future.

In all, I got the following autographs: Rhett Lowder x 3, Jerry Narron x 1, Trot Nixon x 5, John Roper x 16 and Dick Such x 2 (27 total autographs).

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