A couple of fun links from Pete McEntegart's "The 10 Spot" column at SI.com:
7. Why is the baseball offseason referred to as the Hot Stove League?
Answer: The term comes from when fans would gather during the winter months to discuss prospects for the upcoming season in places such as saloons, poolrooms, barbershops or drugstores. These locations often had a coal- or wood-burning stove in the center of the room to keep patrons warm. Presumably the chatter was the most heated where the fans huddled to stay warm around the stove.