PORTLAND — First, Bobby Valentine replaced Terry Francona. Now he is filling in for Josh Reddick.
Valentine, the new Boston Red Sox manager, will attend the Portland Sea Dogs’ annual Hot Stove Dinner on Jan. 13 at the Sable Oaks Marriott in South Portland.
Valentine’s appearance makes this the most hyped banquet the Sea Dogs have put on. Boston catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Seattle Mariners pitcher Charlie Furbush of South Portland are also on the guest list.
“We’re thrilled,” Sea Dogs General Manager Geoff Iacuessa said. “We’re always trying to outdo ourselves.”
Valentine accepted an invitation by the Sea Dogs after the team contacted the Red Sox about a replacement for Reddick, who had to back out of the dinner because of a scheduled surgery.
Reddick, a former Sea Dogs and Red Sox outfielder, has since been traded to the Oakland A’s.
“We worked with the Red Sox and inquired (about Valentine),” Iacuessa. “We were hopeful, but we knew his schedule is pretty crazy.
“He said it was a good cause and he would be thrilled to come out.”
Proceeds from the dinner go to the Sea Dogs’ Strike Out Cancer in Kids charity, which benefits the Maine Children’s Cancer Program.
Tickets for the dinner and silent auction are $50. As of 5 p.m. Wednesday, Iacuessa said fewer than 30 tickets remain.
The presence of Valentine ensures that at least one manager will be in attendance. Sea Dogs Manager Kevin Boles is managing in Australia this offseason.
In addition to Valentine, Saltalamacchia and Furbush, new Red Sox director of player development Ben Crockett will attend. Crockett, an assistant director last year, was promoted to replace Mike Hazen, who was promoted to assistant general manager.
All four will speak at the dinner in a series of one-on-one interviews with Sea Dogs radio play-by-play announcer Mike Antonellis.
Previous invited guests include former Sea Dogs Justin Masterson, Jed Lowrie and Ryan Kalish, as well as Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Mark Rogers from Orrs Island.
After Rogers appeared last year, Iacuessa said he hoped to have a local player as often as possible.
Furbush, 25, fit the description. The former standout of South Portland and St. Joseph’s College, made his major league debut this season with the Detroit Tigers. A left-hander with a good fastball, Furbush was traded to Seattle on July 30 in the Doug Fister deal as Detroit prepared for its playoff run.
Furbush had a 3.62 ERA for the Tigers, mostly as a reliever. Seattle made him a starter. He finished with a combined 4-10 record and 5.48 ERA.
The Jan. 13 event begins at 5:30 p.m. with a reception and silent auction. Dinner is at 6:30, with the program starting at 7 p.m. For tickets, contact the Sea Dogs (879-9500 or www.seadogs.com).
Staff Writer Kevin Thomas can be contacted at 791-6411 or at: