---- — MANCHESTER - With just a few days to go before the 2012 Granite State Baseball Dinner, an annual charitable event, the dinner committee has confirmed several new guests for this year’s event.
Former Red Sox Bob Stanley and Rich Gedman headline the latest group of distinguished guests for the fundraising dinner, presented by Northeast Delta Dental, on Nov. 17 at the Radisson Hotel Expo Center in Manchester.
Stanley and Gedman, both key figures on the 1986 American League Champions, join Pittsburgh Pirates lefty and New Hampshire native Jeff Locke, Fisher Cats owner Art Solomon, Fisher Cats pitching coach Tom Signore, former player and executive turned pro-scout Jim Beattie, and Miss New Hampshire 2012, Megan Lyman to help raise money for the Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth-Hitchcock), the Ted Williams Foundation and the Fisher Cats Foundation.
The newest attendees join baseball Hall of Famer Wade Boggs, two-time World Series champion Chris Carpenter, and former slugger Cecil Fielder. Former big leaguers like Mike LaValliere, Ron Blomberg and Scott McGregor will also attend, along with a mix of Fisher Cats alumni and up-and-coming prospects from New Hampshire.
The event begins with an autograph session and silent auction with the honored guests from 5 to 7 p.m. Dinner will begin at 7 p.m., leading into the start of the evening’s program.
During this year’s live auction, fans can bid on a once-in-a-life-time item: a four-day, three-night fishing excursion with Chris Carpenter to Malbaie River Lodge in Quebec.
Stanley returns to the dinner after completing his first season as a pitching coach in the Blue Jays organization. A native of Maine, “The Steamer” played his entire 13-year career with the Red Sox, retiring with 132 saves, a team record in 1989.
Gedman, a native of Worcester, Mass., played 11 of his 13 major league seasons with the Red Sox beginning in 1980. Gedman played more than 1,000 career games, compiling a .252 career batting average.
Locke, a Kennett High School product, is coming off one of the best seasons in his professional career. He dominated hitters in the Triple-A International League before spending the final month with the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Solomon joins the guest list with his new book on minor league baseball, “Making It in the Minors.” The Fisher Cats owner will be available to autograph copies of his book.
Signore just wrapped up his third year as pitching coach of the Fisher Cats, helping to guide several more Blue Jays prospects to the major leagues.
Beattie, a Dartmouth College graduate, spent nine seasons in the major leagues, winning a World Series in his rookie campaign with the 1978 New York Yankees.
Boggs, a first time guest of the dinner, is no stranger to New Hampshire baseball fans. A member of the National Baseball Hall of Fame Class of 2005, Boggs spent the first 11 years of his career with the Red Sox before moving on to the New York Yankees and the then-named Tampa Bay Devil Rays. He recorded 3,010 hits over his 18-year career, including seven straight seasons with 200 or more hits. Boggs won a World Series with the Yankees in 1996 and finished with a .328 career batting average.
Carpenter is a longtime supporter of the dinner and CHaD, the Raymond native has put together a 14-year major league career with the Toronto Blue Jays and St. Louis Cardinals. The former Trinity High School Pioneer has won two World Series rings, the most recent in 2011.
Fielder was one of the most intimidating power hitters in baseball for 13 seasons, spending the majority of his career with the Detroit Tigers. His slugging son, Prince, is following in his footsteps as the current first baseman in Detroit.
Fuld, a Durham native, has made quite a name for himself since being acquired in a trade by the Tampa Bay Rays prior to the 2011 season. Sidelined by injuries at the start of the 2012 season, the Phillips Exeter Academy graduate is often seen on the nightly highlights. His return from injury this season helped spark the Rays to a strong finish that left them just short of the postseason.
McGregor, a first-round pick by the New York Yankees in 1972, pitched his entire 13-year major league career with the Baltimore Orioles, winning 138 games, including a career-high 20 in 1980.
Blomberg is best known for being the first designated hitter in major league history when he batted for the New York Yankees against the Boston Red Sox in Fenway Park on April 6, 1973.
Cote is a native of Sanbornton and made his much-anticipated professional debut this summer with the New York Yankees’ Gulf Coast League affiliate. A graduate of Winnisquam Regional High School, the 2011 third-round draft pick posted a 3-0 record and 0.98 ERA for the GCL Yankees before a promotion to short-season Staten Island.
LaValliere played 12 major league seasons, seven of which came with the Pittsburgh Pirates. He is a graduate of Trinity High School and UMass-Lowell, and was signed by the Philadelphia Phillies as an amateur free agent in 1981.
Glenn, a power-hitting outfielder from Oklahoma, spent the entire 2012 season with the Fisher Cats, leading the team with 19 home runs and 63 RBI.
Jeroloman has been a fan favorite since making his Fisher Cats debut in 2008. He spent the majority of the 2012 season with New Hampshire, displaying his usual defensive prowess.
Maher teamed with Jordan Cote on the Gulf Coast Yankees in his pro debut this past summer. The right-hander, drafted out of Bedford High School in the 38th round in 2011, made seven appearances over the summer, mixing in three starts.
Zapenas, a graduate of Nashua North High School, will be making his second appearance at the dinner. This past season, he played for the Peoria Chiefs, the Class A affiliate of the Chicago Cubs, and hit .273 before a shoulder injury ended his season in May.
For more information,call 606-4177 or visit nhfishercats.com.