On Wednesday February 2, the Greenville Drive held a free event for fans in the Peace Center's Huguenot Mill Loft. They dubbed it the "Hot Stove Event" and used it to introduce "The Year of the Fan". There was a table with Drive merchandise--including a peek at what's new in the Drive Team Store this year--and plenty of free food and drinks. Reedy Rip'it and other Drive streetmosphere characters were available for photo opportunities and two Red Sox players were there to sign autographs.
Unfortunately, being a working woman meant that I wasn't able to arrive until about 6:20 when the event actually started at 5:30; therefore, I missed the autograph signing as by this time they were running the discussion panel. However, there was still some great free food and drinks to be had as the Drive showcased some new options fans will have to choose from at Fluor Field. The usual hot dogs were available, but other choices included turkey legs, pulled pork, mozzarella sticks and a dessert bar with some great ice cream toppings and cotton candy. As for the drinks--of course there was soda and water, but they were offering up free beer and wine as well! Can't argue with that :)
The discussion panel consisted of Mike Hazen, the Director of Player Development for the Boston Red Sox; Ben Crockett, Boston's Assistant Director of Player Development; Greenville Drive Manager Billy McMillon; Josh Reddick, former Drive player and current Red Sox Outfielder; and Madison Younginer, former Mauldin High School student and current Red Sox Pitcher. After explaining some changes to Fluor--namely bigger and better TV's in the suites, as well as LCD screens replacing the menu boards at the concessions stands, the aforementioned different food options, etc. Billy McMillon also spoke at length regarding his hopes for the Drive's 2011 season.
Although I wasn't in attendance for the entire evening, they closed with a question and answer session and fans were encouraged to ask anything of the panelists. All in all, this event spoke volumes regarding the Drive's renewed goal to put the fans first and give them an amazing sixth season at Fluor Field. I know that I for one can't wait for April 7th!