Hometown baseball heroes Johnny Antonelli and Rochester’s “Mr. Baseball”, Joe Altobelli knocked it out of the park at Rochester Baseball Historical Society’s first annual Hot Stove Dinner on Saturday January 25th, 2014.
On a cold, snowy evening in Rochester, the phrase “Hot Stove”, often used to describe off-season discussions of baseball, was quite apropos. The evening began with a brief introduction by host and emcee Scott Pitoniak, a renowned sports columnist and author, and board member of RBHS. Pitoniak was followed by Joe Territo, President, RBHS and Ryan Brecker, RBHS board, on behalf of the SABR Luke Easter chapter. Guests then enjoyed a lovely buffet dinner.
The program of the evening was continued by Paul Bielewicz, Vice President of RBHS, who gave a presentation entitled “Fulfilling our Mission: An Overview of RBHS Research and Education”, in which Bielewicz discussed the research and educational programs conducted by RBHS within the greater Rochester community.
Bielewicz’s speech was followed by the highlight of the evening, a discussion and question and answer session with Antonelli and Altobelli, moderated by Scott Pitoniak. The more than 50 attendees were regaled with charming, poignant and humorous anecdotes about baseball and the unique experiences Antonelli and Altobelli have had in their many years in the professional game.
The event closed with a raffle of items that had been donated by the Rochester Red Wings, guests in attendance, and members of RBHS; over 30 prizes were donated in all, so nearly every guest who entered was able to walk away with something.
The bar has been set high – the biggest question that remains is how will RBHS top it next year?