PRESS RELEASE – The brightest stars of the Northern League of Professional Baseball and the Golden Baseball League will square off in an interleague All-Star Game each of the next two seasons, it was announced today at the annual Baseball Winter Meetings.
Instead of a Northern League All-Star Game pitting the best players in the league against each other, a single squad of the circuit’s most talented players will head to Tucson, Ariz. on July 14, 2010 to battle a team of stars from the Golden League. The next summer, the Golden League’s All-Stars will visit Zion, Ill. and the Lake County Fielders ballpark for the rematch.
“This game will be the premier showcase for independent minor league talent and will be a treat for our fans,” Northern League Commissioner Clark Griffith said. “These will be fantastic events for the cities of Tucson and Zion, and we are thrilled that we have worked out such a great partnership with the Golden League.”
The Northern League is the premier independent minor league baseball circuit in the country, with eight teams in Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, North Dakota and Canada. Operating as an independent since 1993, the Northern League once again led all independent leagues in per game attendance in 2009 (4,421) and has sent over 600 players to the affiliated minor leagues, including 35 major leaguers.
Founded in 2005, the Golden Baseball League is made up of 10 teams in western North America, including California, Arizona, Hawaii and western Canada. The Tucson Toros, an expansion team in 2009, will serve as the All-Star Game’s host in 2010 at historic 11,000-seat Hi Corbett Field.
“This will be exciting for our players and fans, and also for major league organizations focused on finding the best talent available in the independent minor leagues,” Golden Baseball League Commissioner Kevin Outcalt said. “The Northern League has long been the finest independent professional baseball league and we are looking forward to hosting their top players in Tucson this summer and then sending our best to the Chicago area.”
Each league will field a 20-man roster for the 2010 All-Star game, and the Toros will host two pregame events in the days leading up to the game. On Monday, July 12, the leagues will host a Fan Fest, exhibitions and a Home Run Derby, followed by a banquet and MLB All-Star Game Viewing Party on July 13.
The Northern League will play a 100-game season for the first time in 2010 and welcome the additions of two new teams – the Fielders and Rockford RiverHawks. For more information on the Northern League, visit www.northernleague.com.