We are right smack dab in the middle of the Hot Stove League season, and, with single digit high temps, it’s a good thing. Throw another log or two on that fire. There’s a lot of the HSL season left to play.
“Hot Stove League” is one of those terms thrown around for years that no one knows the origin of. The earliest citation I’ve seen is from a 1909 newspaper, but I’m sure it came into use much earlier than that, and probably just shortly after stoves were invented.
But I imagine old uncle Joe, sitting on a cracker barrel (a barrel of crackers? really?) talking about the gas house gang or murderer’s row or that young kid Koufax. Sipping warm cider, perhaps. Or perhaps something more medicinal. Hiram, the banker, in the old rocking chair, brings up Lefty Grove. Nobody better. “No left-hander, that is.”.
I guess the modern version is the hot screen, which is not as warm and friendly as the old stove in the country store, but perhaps with the same cast of characters.
Hot stoves are necessary here in Minnesota. For Twins fans, the high point of the HSL is probably Twins Fest, which takes place in January, this weekend, in the old barn, the Metrodome.
For a $15 (adult) admission charge (you’ve got to spend money to spend money, I guess) you get to come in and get player autographs, visit the Twins Hall of Fame, visit the trading tables of the sports memorabilia collectors, bid on items at the silent or live auctions — such as the Rod Carew Package (starting bid, $300) or the Kevin Correia Autographed Ball (starting bid, $30), and, well, more! Test out your baseball skills. Get your dome dog. Get your picture taken with the players, from Oliva to Sano, and think about the summer game, surrounded by like-minded citizens, all counting down the days til opening day.