Updated January 19 2017
The 42nd Annual Wilson Hot Stove Banquet was another success held in the Wilson, NC. The night was filled with mentions and stories of MLB and Negro League Alumni as well as several awards given out to local high school and college standouts. Along with athletes receiving awards there were several other awards that recognize individuals in the community, who help promote the sport of baseball.
Members of the Wilson Tobs organization as well as the Coastal Plain League were honored with three of these community awards. The first award was the Charles “Red” Barrett Special Achievement Award which was bestowed upon one individual from the Tobs and one from the Coastal Plain League. This honor is handed out to those in the community that have made special contributions to the game of baseball. Wilson Tobs General Manager Mike Bell and Pete Bock Coastal Plain League (CPL) Founder, Former President, and current owner of the CPL’s own Holly Springs Salamanders were both presented with the Charles “Red” Barrett Special Achievement Award.
Mike Bell, a native of Charlotte, NC and entering his 2nd full season as General Manager of the Tobs, has shown tireless effort in promoting baseball in the Wilson and Eastern North Carolina area. Without his relentless drive, the Tobs would not be who they are today. The 20th Anniversary Season of the modern day Tobs saw an increase in local outreach and community involvement. By deciding to offer youth baseball teams with the opportunity to take the field with the Tobs without any costs during all Tobs home games, Bell showed his commitment to growing the passion for the game by involving the youth to meet some of their idols. The success of the 2016 Tobs Fall College Prospects Camp saw 40 local high school players had the opportunity to perform in front of several local college coaches from NCAA Division I, Division II, Division III, Junior College, and NAIA institutions.
Pete Bock was named the second recipient of the Red Barrett Award during the 2016 Wilson Hot Stove Banquet. Bock helped to create the modern day Coastal Plain League into one of the nation’s top collegiate summer baseball leagues. Founded in 1997 the CPL was comprised of six franchises. The 2017 season of the CPL will contain 15 members from across North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and Georgia. Bock has been instrumental in bringing top-level collegiate summer baseball back to Wake County. In 2015 the Holly Springs Salamanders were born and played their inaugural season within the CPL.
The Willis Hackney Award is given to an individual or group that has been instrumental in the betterment of baseball. As an integral part of the baseball community and the Wilson community, Dell Joyner was awarded the 2017 Willis Hackney Award. Baseball has been an integral part of Dell’s life since beginning to play at the age of five. Joyner’s son, Jake, follows in his footsteps as he continues to play for the “Joyner’s” Little League team each season. Over the years, Dell has supported the Tobs for over 15 years and has hosted several players for the last four seasons. Additional support to local baseball organizations include a full sponsorship of the Wilson Recreation Little League and Fall League for the past five years. Community events are a major commitment of Dell’s as he takes pride in being part of various events both surround baseball or the community.
These honorees have shown, by receiving these awards, how the growth of baseball has impacted the Wilson area and will continue to grow in future years through the Wilson Tobs and the Coastal Plain League Organizations.The Coastal Plain League is the nation’s premier summer collegiate baseball league. Celebrating its 20th season in 2016, the CPL features 16 teams playing in Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. The CPL has had nearly 1,300 alumni drafted and 94 of those – including 2011 AL MVP and Cy Young winner Justin Verlander – make their Major League debut; while another notable alum – Russell Wilson – won Super Bowl XLVIII. For more information on the Coastal Plain League, please visit the league website at www.coastalplain.com and follow us via Twitter @CPLBaseball.Contact: