The Visalia Rawhide have been announced as the host team for the 2017 California League All-Star Game, which will take place at Recreation Park on the evening of June 20. That is exactly 28 years after the ballpark hosted its first and, to date, only All-Star Game.
With the Salem Red Sox announced today as the host of the 2017 Carolina League All-Star Classic, next year will mark the first time since 1998 that the Carolina and California leagues will not square off in the same contest.
The full slate of events for the California League game will be announced at a later date, but will include the popular Home Run Derby and other fan-friendly activities.
The California League will return to its roots as a single-league All Star Game. In recent years, the California League All Stars have played the Carolina League All Stars, with the game alternating between East and West coasts. Returning to the original formula will allow the All Star Game to be played in California League cities every year, and feature more top prospects from the MLB teams in California and the west coast who are affiliated with the California League.
“We are honored to be chosen as the host for the 2017 All Star Game. We work hard to improve the ballpark and family-friendly fan experience each year, and being chosen to host the California League’s Crown Jewel Event says a lot about how far we’ve come in recent years. I’m looking forward to being able to showcase our City and our community to the elite players, executives, fans and families who will be attending this event,” commented Rawhide General Manager, Jennifer Pendergraft.
“I’m thrilled that the Visalia Rawhide will be hosting the 2017 All Star Game,” said Charlie Blaney, California League President. “No ballclub or ballpark has improved more over the past 10 years, a credit to the City of Visalia and the Visalia Rawhide for creating a wonderful family-friendly atmosphere. Recreation Ballpark has 70 years of rich California League history, and the All Star Game will add an exciting new chapter to that legacy.”
Visalia Mayor Steve Nelsen added, “City-owned Recreation Ballpark has become the Community Gathering Place for Visalia in recent years, and now it will become a Gathering Place for baseball fans and families from throughout the state. This event also promises to provide a nice economic impact to local business for a few days next summer. We’re looking forward to Visalia being the All Star City!”
Related Stories: Salem to Host 2017 Carolina League All-Star Classic