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January 6, 2005

The Syracuse SkyChiefs have announced that the club will host its 44th Annual Hot Stove Event on Thursday, January 27 from 6-8 PM at the Holiday Inn Syracuse/Liverpool on Electronics Parkway.

Outfielder Anton French will head this year's list of special guests. French, who joined the Toronto organization in June, agreed to a minor league contract with the Blue Jays this off-season. The SkyChiefs were 21-17 last season after French joined the club on July 30.

French led the 2004 SkyChiefs with 15 stolen bases despite appearing in just 36 games. The former International League All-Star hit .349 with 7 HR and 23 RBI as a member of the SkyChiefs. French combined to steal 44 bases in his three stops in 2004.

Second-year SkyChiefs Manager Marty Pevey will join French at the head table, as will Blue Jays Assistant General Manager Tim McCleary former Montreal Expos Manager and General Manager Jim Fanning, and new Auburn Doubledays Coach Tom Signore. Pevey, who guided the SkyChiefs to a 66-78 record in his first season as triple-A manager, also attended last year's event.

Pevey, 43, has managed and coached in the Blue Jays organization since 1996. In 2003, he led the Double-A New Haven Ravens to a 79-63 record and a berth in the Eastern League Finals. His overall record as a manager is 495-487 in 7 years.

The Hot Stove will begin at 6 PM with the start of the annual silent auction featuring sports memorabilia from around the country as well as SkyChiefs "experiences", including batting practice on the field and lunch with the coaching staff. Net proceeds from the silent auction will go to benefit a local charity.

The Hot Stove will also include a brief program beginning at approximately 7 PM. The SkyChiefs will also announce the winners of the Tom Higgins Bull Pen Chief Award, presented annually to a community leader who has provided exemplary support for professional baseball in Syracuse, and the Jake Meyers Great Guy Award, which annually goes to an individual who devotes a good deal of his or her time to further enhance Syracuse SkyChiefs baseball in Central New York.

Admission to the event is only $5 for adults and free to children 12 years of age and under. For ticket information, contact the SkyChiefs office during normal business hours at (315) 474-7833. Tickets are available through the SkyChiefs at P&C Stadium or at the door the night of the event.