If it’s June, it’s All-Star season in the minors. Here’s a look at the various All-Star Games that will be played over the next few weeks in Minor League Baseball, along with a preview of the upcoming Midwest League All-Star Game in Davenport.
For baseball fans, All-Star Games are a great celebration of the game, a way to catch all the best players in the circuit in the same lineup on the same night. Add a festive atmosphere to a showcase game, and you have the makings of a great night. Here are the various All-Star Games listed by date:
June 18: Florida State League All-Star Game, Bright House Park, hosted by the Clearwater Threshers.
June 21: California/Carolina All-Star Game, John Thurman Field, hosted by the Modesto Nuts.
June 21: Midwest League All-Star Game, Modern Woodmen Park, hosted by the Quad Cities River Bandits.
June 21: South Atlantic League All-Star Game, Perdue Stadium, hosted by the Delmarva Shorebirds.
June 21: Southern League All-Star Game, Pringles Park, hosted by the Jackson Generals.
June 29: Texas League All-Star Game, Wolff Stadium, hosted by the San Antonio Missions.
July 13: Triple-A All-Star Game, Spring Mobile Ballpark, hosted by the Salt Lake Bees.
July 13: Eastern League All-Star Game, Northeast Delta Dental Stadium, hosted by the New Hampshire Fisher Cats.
Of course, there will be other All-Star Games coming down the road in July, most notably in the independent and in the summer-collegiate ranks; for instance, Fayetteville is hosting the Coastal Plain League All-Star Game on July 18 and Wisconsin Rapids is hosting the Northwoods League All-Star Game on the same night. We’ll pass along details of every All-Star Game as we receive them.
If you’ve not been to an All-Star game but have the chance to attend one, they’ve evolved into pretty elaborate affairs. For instance, the Quad Cities River Bandits have planned a two-day affair culminating with the actual game.
“We are so excited to be hosting the All-Star Game and giving the people of the Quad Cities a chance to see the next generation of Major League stars – as well as giving everyone in the League a chance to see why the Quad Cities is the best community in the entire Midwest,” said team owner Dave Heller. “With so many give-aways and so much entertainment lined up, we are going to put on a show for the people of the Quad Cities that is so fantastic people will be talking about it for weeks.”
The events will get started with the Midwest League All-Star Fan Fest taking place at the River’s Edge Sports Center, located directly across South Gaines Street from Modern Woodmen Park. The Fan Fest will offer fans a chance to participate in interactive games, play on inflatables, get autographs from the Midwest League All-Stars, enjoy free ice skating and much more. The Fan Fest will be open on Monday, June 20, and Tuesday, June 21 from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.
The Midwest League All-Star Home Run Derby will take place on the field at Modern Woodmen Park on Monday, June 20, beginning at 7 p.m. The format will be different than in years past. This year’s home run derby will be a combination of a hitting showcase and a home run derby. Players will be heavily rewarded for hitting home runs, but hitters will also be awarded points, and earn money for local Quad Cities charities, for hitting randomly placed targets around the field and stadium. There will also be special guest entertainers performing between rounds of the derby.
Also on tap Monday night: a private reception at the Figge Museum of Modern Art for league owners and GMs, catered by Professional Sports Catering.
The player with the most points will be crowned the winner. All players will also represent a fan and a charity designated by each participant’s media partner. The home run contest will be emceed by Rock 104-9’s Dave and Darren. Tickets for the Home Run Derby are currently on sale, starting at just $5. After the derby, fans can enjoy an All-Star Game Fireworks show, courtesy of Lujack’s.
Following the Home Run Derby, fans 21 years of age and older are welcome to join Midwest League all-stars, team and league executives on a pub crawl presented by SignCo through the heart of downtown Davenport. The River Bandits have partnered with numbers of bars and restaurants that will offer exclusive drink specials and incentives for participants.
The week’s events all lead up to the Midwest League All-Star Game on Tuesday, June 21st at 7:05pm. The sheer baseball talent of the prospects on the field are enough to entertain any baseball fan, but in true River Bandits fashion, the team is bringing in never-before seen acts to the Quad Cities. The Russian Bar Trio acrobatic group will perform numerous times during the game, as will David “No Way” Brulet, a former Cirque du Soliel juggler who is making his first domestic appearance at the All-Star Game. Following the game, fans will be treated to a huge Lujack’s Fireworks show to cap the two-day festival.
“We really wanted to make this a unique experience for our fans,” said River Bandits general manager Kirk Goodman. “Our goal from the beginning has been to give our loyal River Bandits fans a game-day experience they won’t see during the regular season and brand new memories they will cherish for years.”
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