The freezing cold of January may seem like a strange time to talk about baseball. But that is just what those attending next month's third annual Portsmouth Murals, Inc., baseball banquet will be doing.
The banquet will be on Jan. 18 at the Friends Community Center at 1202 18th St. A reception will start at 6 p.m. with dinner and the program starting at 7 p.m.
Wheelersburg resident and Cincinnati Reds Senior Special Assistant to the general manager Gene Bennett is one of the honorees.
As a scout, Bennett was responsible for signing several Reds stars, including shortstop Barry Larkin and pitcher Don Gullett.
Gullett, a South Shore, Ky., resident will also be honored.
Gullett pitched for the Reds and New York Yankees in the 1970s before retiring with a shoulder injury. He is a member of the Reds Hall of Fame and appeared in the 1970, 1975 and 1976 World Series with them. He later served as pitching coach for the team.
Both attended last year's banquet and Gullett is featured on the baseball mural near Second Street.
It won't just be players who will be honored, however.
Major league umpire and Portsmouth native Terry Craft, along with former Detroit Tiger scout Billy Doyle, baseball executive Frank Rickey and hitting coach Wayne Blackburn will also be honored.
The evening will also feature a special tribute to the late Rocky Nelson, who died recently.
The Portsmouth native was a hitting star for the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 1960 World Series.
All proceeds from the banquet will go to Portsmouth Murals, Inc., for future mural maintenance and production of new murals.
Tickets for the banquet are $50 and can be purchased at the Scioto County Welcome Center at 342 Second St. in Boneyfiddle.
For more information call (740) 353-7647.
JEFF BARRON can be reached at (740) 353-3101, ext. 236.