Back when all the MLB teams could be found east of the Mississippi River and north of Virginia, baseball junkies used to get their offseason fixes by sitting around yakking about downtime big league happenings — recent trades, news items, gossip and the like.

In the dead of winter, it could get pretty darn cold in those U.S. environs to which baseball was then limited. So, in many rural areas those conversations took place around an old wood-burning stove in the middle of some sort of a communal fat-chewing room.

Thus, did the classic baseball term "Hot Stove League" come about — from all those conversations that had to suffice in the absence of actual games being played on the field.