History in the making: the short-season-A Northwest League will take on the rookie Pioneer League in a 2015 All-Star Game to be held August 4 at Avista Stadium, home of the Spokane Indians.
We’ve seen interleague All-Star Games in recent years — like the Triple-A All-Star Game between the International League and the Pacific Coast League, and the Cal/Carolina League All-Star Game at the High Class A level — but this is a match between two different levels of play. (Assuming, of course, the Pioneer League remains a rookie league in coming years.) Here, the All-Star Game will pit the top talent from the eight-team Northwest League against the best players from the eight-team Pioneer League. In all, 14 Major League Baseball franchises will be represented in the first-ever meeting between the two leagues.
The Northwest League All-Stars will feature players from Spokane, Everett, Tri-City, Vancouver, Boise, Eugene, Hillsboro and Salem-Keizer. The Pioneer League All-Stars will be comprised of players from Billings, Missoula, Great Falls, Helena, Grand Junction, Ogden, Idaho Falls and Orem.
“The Northwest League and Pioneer League are two prominent short-season leagues in Minor League Baseball,” said Pat O’Conner, President and CEO of Minor League Baseball. “To combine the two and showcase the talented individuals from 14 Major League farm systems is a win for everyone, especially the fans.”
“Hosting a regional event of this magnitude within our community is an honor for the Spokane Indians and Avista Stadium,” said Otto Klein, Senior Vice President of the Spokane Indians. “We can’t wait to give our fans, and the league’s fans, the Spokane All-Star experience.”
“When the Northwest League reintroduced the All-Star Game in 2013, I never thought we would take it to the next level so quickly,” said Mike Ellis, President of the Northwest League.” “It will be exciting to watch so many young future stars of Major League Baseball competing in Spokane next August.” Ellis, of course, has a foot in both leagues: he’s president of Mountain Baseball LLC, the group that owns and operates the Missoula Osprey.
“The All-Star Game between both leagues brings notoriety to all 16 teams and their affiliates,” said Jim McCurdy, President of the PBL. The game enables fans to gain a great view of the prospects during their early years in Minor League Baseball.”
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