Thursday night’s 57th annual Fresno Grizzlies Hot Stove Gala and dinner has local flavor with three baseball pros from the central San Joaquin Valley.
Current major league pitcher Matt Garza (Washington Union High, Fresno State), Cleveland Indians coach Brad Mills (Exeter) and San Francisco Giants special assistant Mark Gardner (Clovis, Fresno State) will join the dais with keynote speaker Dusty Baker and Houston Astros World Series champion Chris Devenski, a former Grizzlies pitcher.
Garza is a 12-year major league veteran who is a free agent after four seasons with Milwaukee. He pitched through a significant shoulder injury the last half of last season and had shoulder surgery Jan. 10 in Los Angeles, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Garza’s best seasons were with the Tampa Bay Rays, winning American League Championship Series MVP in 2008 and throwing a no-hitter in 2010.
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Mills is a former major leaguer (1980-83, Montreal Expos) and Houston Astros manager who currently serves as the bench coach for the Indians. Gardner pitched in the majors from 1989-2001, winning 99 games, and famously no-hit the Los Angeles Dodgers for nine innings in a 1991 game before giving up a hit in the 10th inning. He was the Giants’ bullpen coach from 2003-17.
Thursday’s Hot Stove begins at 6 p.m. at the Fresno Convention Center Exhibit Hall III (doors open at 5:30 p.m.). Tickets are $60. VIP tickets, which include a 5 p.m. meet-and-greet with the featured speakers, are $100. Tables of 10 ($600) and VIP tables ($1,000) are also available. Tickets for children 12 and under are $25.