PRESS RELEASE – The 49th annual Midwest League All-Star Game will be played at Fifth Third Field in Dayton on June 18, 2013. The announcement was made jointly today by the Dayton Dragons and Midwest League President George Spelius.
The Dragons have been awarded hosting rights to the game for the second time in their history. They also hosted the 2001 Midwest League All-Star Game at Fifth Third Field in the Dragons second season of operation.
“The Midwest League All-Star Game is a great community event,” said Dragons President Robert Murphy. “The attention focused on the game will allow us to showcase our community to a regional audience, and the event itself is a tremendous experience for our fans and corporate partners. It’s an honor and privilege for the Dragons to serve as the host team in the continued history and tradition of this game.”
The Midwest League All-Star Game was first played in 1964 and, starting in 1966, has been played continuously every year. Perhaps the greatest performance ever turned in by a player in any Midwest League All-Star Game came from Dragons outfielder Jay Bruce in 2006, when he was recognized as the game’s Most Valuable Player after belting a home run, double, and single in the game.
When the Dragons hosted the game in 2001, fans in Dayton had the opportunity to see many future big league stars. Quad Cities first baseman Justin Morneau played in the game, just five years before becoming the American League Most Valuable Player with the Minnesota Twins. Morneau has played in five major league all-star games.
Other participants that season included Kane County third baseman Miguel Cabrera, who has since appeared in six major league all-star games and has finished in the top five in the MVP voting five times. Kane County’s Adrian Gonzalez also played in the ’01 game in Dayton. Gonzalez, now with the Red Sox, has played in the last four major league all-star games. Fort Wayne’s Oliver Perez headed the list of pitchers. Perez would play in the major leagues the next season and post a 15-win season with the Mets in 2007.
Other big names from among today’s major leaguers who played in the MWL All-Star Game include Albert Pujols, Johan Santana, Joe Mauer, Prince Fielder, and Dragons all-star representatives Adam Dunn, Johnny Cueto, and Edwin Encarnacion. Earlier MWL All-Star Games included players like Goose Gossage, Carlton Fisk, Vida Blue, Gary Gaetti, Dan Quisenberry, and Dave Stewart.
The All-Star event will include much more than just the game itself. Details will be announced at a later date concerning pre-game activities, autograph sessions, and additional entertainment. Ticket information will also be announced at a later date.