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Tuesday, January 7, 2014
A little baseball in January? Batter up

By Gordon Edes

BOSTON -- There are still 39 days before Red Sox pitchers and catchers report (high of just 57 degrees in the Fort on Tuesday, BTW), but there are still a few ways to get your baseball fix this month.

Come to the Paradise: There are tickets still available for one of the great fixtures on the off-season baseball calendar around here, the Hot Stove, Cool Music charity concert at the Paradise Rock Club on Saturday night, Jan. 11. Former Red Sox GM Theo Epstein and Hall of Fame journalist Peter Gammons are the headliners for the 14th annual event. It was the brainchild of Gammons and former Boston Herald baseball reporter Jeff Horrigan, with Epstein, a devoted rocker, joining forces as a means to benefit the Foundation to Be Named Later, the organization started by the Epstein brothers, Theo and Paul [It also gives Theo a great excuse to get on stage with a guitar].

Among those scheduled to perform are The Baseball Project, featuring members of the iconic rock band R.E.M.; rock and soul band Trigger Hippy; featuring Joan Osborne and members of The Black Crowes; indie rocker Howie Day; Boston-born Kay Hanley; and Kingsley Flood.

Top billing, of course, is reserved for Gammons and his Hot Stove All-Stars, featuring Paul Barrere from Little Feat, Buffalo Tom’s Bill Janovitz, Belly’s Tanya Donelly, Cubs broadcaster Len Kasper, the Upper Crust’s Chris Cote, Seth Justman from the J. Geils Band, Will Dailey, Jed Parish & Lucky Jackson from The Gravel Pit. Actor, comedian and hard-core Sox fan Mike O’Malley is serving as emcee.

It doesn’t stop there. On Tuesday, Jan. 21, Hot Stove Cool Music is staging its sports roundtable, with this year’s topic “building and maintaining a winning culture.’’ Gammons will serve as moderator, with participants scheduled to include Sox executives Ben Cherington and Mike Hazen, manager John Farrell, pitcher Craig Breslow, and another legendary journalist, Bob Ryan.

Tickets to both of these events and additional information can be obtained at the foundation’s website. Concert tickets are $40, with some VIP packages available. The roundtable is $150.

New stars for young stars: A day-night double-header in January? Only in Boston, where the Jimmy Fund Council of Greater Boston is staging its annual New Stars for Young Stars meet-and-greet lunch and autograph event Saturday afternoon at Jillian’s, featuring some of the top young players in the Sox system, as well as Sox newcomer A.J. Pierzynski. This event takes place from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., which means you could hit this event early, then catch the Hot Stove Cool Music concert down the street later in the day. And still watch the second half of the Pats game.

Other Sox players scheduled to appear are pitchers Drake Britton and Rubby De La Rosa, catcher Blake Swihart and second baseman Mookie Betts. Tickets start at $89 and VIP tickets are $250. All proceeds from the 2014 event will benefit the Jimmy Fund. You can buy tickets here.

Baseball writers dinner: Then there’s the granddaddy of them all, the 75th annual Boston Baseball Writers Dinner, sponsored by the Sports Museum and scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 23 at the Westin Copley Place. Sox TV broadcaster Don Orsillo is handling emcee duties, and there’s a long list of Sox award winners, including David Ortiz, Jon Lester, Koji Uehara, Jonny Gomes, David Ross, Daniel Nava, John Lackey and Craig Breslow. Former Sox prospect Ryan Westmoreland is scheduled to receive a special achievement award while Hall of Fame candidate Tom Glavine, a Billerica native, is scheduled to receive the organization’s lifetime achievement award. Tickets are $200. For information and to buy tickets, go here.

Minor in name only: The Double-A Portland Sea Dogs are summoning Maine native Brian Butterfield, the Sox third-base coach to join outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr., pitcher Brandon Workman and longtime Sox instructor Dick Berardino for their annual Hot Stove dinner Jan. 17 at the Sable Oaks Marriott in South Portland. Tickets are $50 and can be purchased at the Hadlock Field Ticket Office, by phone at 207-879-9500 or online at seadogs.com.

And on the college side: Boston College is holding its second annual Baseball Night in Boston at Fenway's State Street Pavilion on Jan. 22. Cherington is headlining the event, along with BC coach Mike Gambino,the former BC star, Sox minor-leaguer and big-league scout in his fourth season coaching the Eagles. Tickets can be obtained here