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Let’s play two: Hot, Hotter Stove meeting competing for Travs fans

Thursday night is a doubleheader of sorts for the Arkansas Travelers.

The team’s annual Hot Stove meeting is changing locales from North Little Rock to West Little Rock and the Embassy Suites. Doors open at 6 p.m.

Admission is $20 and includes dinner. A cash bar will also be available.

An hour later, a group of Travs fans spearheaded by John Crow will have a Hotter Stove meeting at Reno’s in downtown North Little Rock.

Admission, hot dogs and beer will all be free at the Reno’s event.

Crow said his gathering is in response to the $20 ticket price that the Travs are charging for the Hot Stove meeting.

“This event has always been free and open to the public,” Crow wrote in an e-mail. “Its purpose has been to generate excitement among the fans for the upcoming season by telling them about the players and promotional plans.”

The Travs are bringing out some names for the Hot Stove meeting, including new manager Tim Bogar, Los Angeles Angels assistant general manager Scott Servais, former New York Yankees player Bobby Richardson and former Traveler and current Angels outfielder Peter Bourjas.

The Travs noted that Bourjas is the first current Major League player to visit a Hot Stove meeting.

Pine Bluff’s Torii Hunter had been scheduled to appear in 2011 while he was with the Angels but had to cancel when he couldn’t fly into Little Rock because of inclement weather. Hunter now plays for the Detroit Tigers.

Crow is also among the Travs fans who were upset by the November dismissal of longtime general manager Pete Laven by Russ Meeks, the team’s executive president.

— Jeremy Peppas

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