Hot Stove Cool Music heats up Red Sox offseason


If you love the Red Sox, live music, and giving to charity, Saturday night’s Hot Stove Cool Music concert in Boston would have been right up your alley.

This year marked the 15th edition of the annual event, which was established in 2000 as the brainchild of Baseball Hall of Fame sportswriter Peter Gammons, Boston Herald sportswriter Jeff Horrigan, and musician Kay Hanley. And, unlike the 2014 Red Sox, this lineup did not disappoint. It featured local musicians such as Juliana Hatfield, Craig Finn, Al Kooper, and Eli “Paperboy” Reed. Comedian Mike O’Malley emceed and the silent auction was a big hit.

The concert’s past performers include James Taylor and Red Sox stars Bronson Arroyo (I admittedly own not one, but two copies of his disaster debut album) and Kevin Millar, as well as former team general manager Theo Epstein.

Epstein and his twin brother, Paul, established the Foundation to Be Named Later (a spin on the common baseball trade pawn, Player to Be Named Later) during Spring Training in 2005 as a way for Red Sox fans still riding the high from the 2004 World Series win to give back to the Boston community. The Epsteins’ organization raises “funds and awareness for nonprofit agencies serving urban youth and families” in Boston and became the fundraising target for the Hot Stove Cool Music concert when the brothers partnered with Gammons and his event’s team. To date, the concert has raised over $7 million for both the FTBNL and the Jimmy Fund.

“Boston is such a baseball and rock ’n’ roll town, so the concept wasn’t as foreign as it seems,” Gammons said of the event’s inception. “It really helped to have the Red Sox get really good in 2003 and then win (the World Series) for the first time in 86 years in 2004. That really grew the brand.”

Both Epstein and Gammons also took the stage to perform Saturday night, and Epstein understandably took a timeout to watch the Patriots game.