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Hot Stove Luncheon Set for Monday, January 21

January 7, 2019 - Texas League (TL) - Northwest Arkansas Naturals News Release

SPRINGDALE, Ark. - The Northwest Arkansas Naturals will host their annual Hot Stove Luncheon to preview the 2019 season on Monday, January 21 (Martin Luther King, Jr. Day) at The Apollo on Emma (308 W. Emma Ave.) in Springdale in conjunction with the Springdale Rotary Club. The event features guests from the Naturals and Royals to give insight on the upcoming year.

The Hot Stove Luncheon will take place from 12 p.m. until 1 p.m. at The Apollo on Emma with doors opening at 11:30 a.m. on Monday, January 21. Fans of all ages are invited to this pre-season event on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day that features Darryl Kennedy, whom was recently tabbed by the Kansas City Royals as the new field manager of the Northwest Arkansas Naturals, and J.J. Picollo, Vice President/Assistant General Manager-Player Personnel of the Royals. The two (2) special guests will be on hand take questions during a scheduled Q & A session with Naturals' radio broadcaster Benjamin Kelly during the program. David Glass, the owner of the Kansas City Royals, is also scheduled to appear at the luncheon while Justin Cole, the Vice President/General Manager of the Northwest Arkansas Naturals, will provide fans with the latest on the upcoming season.

Admission to the event, which includes lunch, is only $20 per person. Fans that are interested in attending the Hot Stove Luncheon at The Apollo on Emma (308 W. Emma Ave.) in Springdale are being asked to call Sam Ahern at (479) 927-4055 or email him at to purchase their ticket(s). The organization is encouraging fans to purchase their Hot Stove Luncheon tickets in advance as there are currently only 20 spots left through the Naturals' allotment for the event.


Kennedy, takes the reins of the Northwest Arkansas Naturals - becoming just the fourth field manager in team history - after serving as the manager for the Wilmington Blue Rocks (Advanced-A) in 2018. He has been a mainstay in the Royals organization as he's served in a managerial role within the farm system since the 2007 season. He previously managed with Surprise (2010-2013, 2015-2017) along with stints in Wilmington (2008, 2014, and 2018), Burlington (2007) and Idaho Falls (2009).

Kennedy has experience in the Texas League after serving as the Frisco RoughRiders manager during the 2005 and 2006 season while a member of the Texas Rangers organization. The Rangers originally drafted Kennedy during the 1991 amateur draft.


J.J. Picollo is entering his fifth season as the club's Vice President/Assistant General Manager-Player Personnel after being promoted to his current position in January of 2015. He previously served as the Assistant General Manager-Scouting & Player Development, a role he held since 2008. Picollo joined the Royals' staff on August 13, 2006 as Director of Player Development.

He came to the Royals after serving as the Director of Minor League Operations for the Atlanta Braves since November, 2005 and had been with the organization since 1999. Prior to his promotion as Director of Minor League Operations, Picollo served as the Assistant Director of Player Development after working as an Area Scouting Supervisor.

The Northwest Arkansas Naturals will return to Arvest Ballpark on Thursday, April 4, 2019 at 6:35 p.m. when they'll host the Springfield Cardinals (Double-A Affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals) on Opening Night of the 2019 season.

The Northwest Arkansas Naturals are the Double-A Texas League Affiliate of the Kansas City Royals. The Naturals play at state-of-the-art Arvest Ballpark in Springdale, Ark. For more information, including statistics, ticket options, and more, please visit, and follow us on Twitter @NWANaturals and for all of the latest information.

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The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.

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