Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Did You Know Tuesdays - WZON Hot Stove Night 2010
Did you know that last night, Monday (Jan 25) at the Bangor Civic Center, WZON hosted their 7th Annunal Hot Stove Night? This year’s guests were the returning Joe Castiglione, and this year the guest was Joe’s radio partner, Dave O’Brien.

A crowded room of 550 or so baseball fans, the greater majority members of Red Sox Nation, looked forward to this night and as was the case in years past, the wait was worth it.

Crowd gathers for Hot Stove Night 2010 at the Bangor Civic Center

With Dale Duff serving as the emcee, Dave O’Brien was introduced first, followed by Red Sox radio announcer Joe Castiglione, who will be starting his 28th year as the Voice of the Red Sox with the upcoming season. This is Dave’s third year calling Red Sox on the radio with Joe C.

The format for the night was some questions were pitched to Joe and Dave by WZON’s Dale Duff, then Jeff Solari, and hitting clean-up was Clem LaBree. Between each of the host’s segments, questions were taken from the audience by Tobey Nelson.

Some of the questions involved which was their favorite ballpark other than Fenway Park (Joe - Camden Yards in Baltimore; Dave - Dodger Stadium), travel stories, favorite players, how will Scutero work out, and more. When asked about their favorite call, for Joe it was a know-brainer: calling the final out of the 2004 World Series that was won by the Red Sox over the St Louis Cardinals. For Dave, it was the first no-hitter he called back in 1997 as announcer for the Florida Marlins, when Marlin Kevin Brown* pitched against the San Francisco Giants in Candlestick Park.

Joe has been to all seven events, but for Dave O’Brien (Joe referred to him as OB) this was his first visit to this great event. Dave commented that his job as an announcer for the Red Sox really is a dream come true for him. He described being a twelve year old kid being taken to Fenway Park for many games every summer by his dad and being awed by the fact that the people sitting up in the press box got to watch baseball for a living and thinking he’d like to be doing that one day himself. He stressed that for him being an announcer for a baseball team is a dream come true, but to be doing it for the Red Sox - his team - made it even more so.

Joe Castiglione and Dave O'Brien on stage

Regarding Jonathan Papelbon, Dave said he’s a big fan of Pap, especially the day after a game when Dave said opening up the sports page in the morning to see what Pap said the night before is great fun. haha!

A highlight of the evening was both Joe and Dave commenting that this event is the only one of its kind that they know of in not only Red Sox Nation, but in all of baseball. The event that the Sports Zone has put together for the past seven years is truely a unique event, and scoring a pair of the free tickets is considered a major coup.

There was an enormous amount of food available from the many sponsors including Muddy Rudder (lobstah rolls and chowdah); W.A. Beans (red hot dogs); Dead River Convenience (pizza, subs, deserts); Beef O’Brady’s (wings, chicken fingers); Pepsi products and Lays Chips. Other sponsors included the Senior League World Series, Portland SeaDogs, Quality Jewelers, TBA, Allen Farm Fence, and the Red Cross. (If I’ve missed anybody, note it in the comments and I’ll update). WZON also had their great support staff including Sales Goddess Carrie, Kenny V, and from the sales department, Al and Bill.

Some of the food available: wings, lobster rolls, sub, pizza

The event concluded with Joe and Dave signing autographs, while Clem, Jeff and Carrie drew tickets to see which of the lucky attendees would be leaving with the chairs that the guests sat in, or a pair of Red Sox tickets, or any of the other items that were available.

If you’ve had the chance to attend this event, you know from experience that it is a great one. This year was no exception. I’m already warming up my dialing fingers getting ready for next years free ticket giveaway to Hot Stove Night 2011. I suggest you do the same.

Joe and Dave sign autographs

*note: this was updated 1/27/2010 - thanks to Scott Beaulieu for correcting the "Scott" Brown typo when it should've read "Kevin" Brown



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