Manager Tony DeFrancesco – who guided the Fresno Grizzlies to the most successful season in club history – will be the featured guest speaker for the Hot Stove Gala on Feb. 11.
The Grizzlies enjoyed a historic 2015 campaign under DeFrancesco in their first year as an Astros affiliate after 17 seasons in the San Francisco Giants system, going 84-59 during the regular season to set a franchise record for victories while returning to the playoffs for the first time since its inaugural year. The Grizzlies won the Pacific Coast League championship before capturing a one-game showdown for the overall Triple-A crown.
DeFrancesco after the season was named Manager of the Year by Baseball America. It was his fourth Triple-A league championship in his 21 years as a minor league manager. The Astros announced in October that DeFrancesco will be back at the helm for Fresno in 2016.
He will be joined at the Hot Stove Gala by Grizzlies catcher Tyler Heineman and pitcher James Hoyt.
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“The Fresno Grizzlies’ 2015 season could not have turned out to be more perfect,” said general manager Derek Franks, the PCL’s 2015 Executive of the Year. “We look forward to continue celebrating these accomplishments, as well as the exciting legacy of baseball in the Central Valley, at the 55th annual Hot Stove Gala.”
The Grizzlies also will honor area prep athletes at the event:
▪ Gus Zernial Male Player of the Year: Matt Frazier, Clovis North High baseball
▪ Gus Zernial Female Player of the Year: Gianna Mancha, Central High softball
▪ Team of the Year: Buchanan High baseball
▪ Al Radka Award Winner: Mike Noakes, baseball coach
The 55th annual Hot Stove Gala is scheduled for 5 p.m. Feb. 11 at the Fresno Convention and Entertainment Center.
Tickets are available and cost $75 for adults and $35 for children (12 and under). An all-star table (includes 10 tickets) is available for $700. To purchase tickets, call 559-320-2547 or visit www.fresnogrizzlies.com.