PRESS RELEASE – The Worcester Bravehearts have won back-to-back championships and broken multiple attendance records in their short existence, but the best is yet to come. In 2016, the organization will bring a premier baseball event to Worcester as the city has been selected to host the 2016 Futures League All Star Game.
The Futures League All Star Game will take place on Wednesday, July 13th at Hanover Insurance Park at Fitton Field. That date is also the day after Major League Baseball’s All Star Game resulting in a two-day baseball celebration of midsummer classics.
The Bravehearts are developing the Futures League All Star Game into a two-day experience and have introduced a logo capturing that essence. The “2016 Futures League All Star Experience” logo is designed in honor of Worcester’s history as a manufacturing hub of diner cars in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The logo is styled like a diner’s neon sign and includes an All Star marquee in the Bravehearts’ colors above the City of Worcester seal, along with a fork and knife on the edges just as they would look to any hungry customer having a seat at a diner counter. The fork and knife are also a nod to the 30-year catering history of Creedon and Co., Inc., the owners of the Worcester Bravehearts.
“The All Star Experience is as much an event for families of Central New England and casual sports fans as it is for sophisticated baseball fans,” said Bravehearts’ General Manager Dave Peterson.
To achieve that vision, the team is collaborating with the College of the Holy Cross on a plan to host a Fitton Ave. Fan Fest on the section of Fitton Ave adjacent to the ballpark. On July 13, 2016, that street on Holy Cross’s campus will be closed to vehicular traffic in a fashion similar to that of Yawkey Way before a game at Fenway Park. Vehicular traffic will be diverted about 300 feet up College Hill to the main entrance of campus where fans can enter the Fitton Ave parking garage from the rooftop entrance. With Fitton Ave open to pedestrians only, the team plans to host a full-on street festival including live music, kids’ activities, and food stands along Fitton Ave. Fans holding All Star Game tickets would receive admission to the ballpark as well as the Fitton Ave Fan Fest as part of the complete experience.
“Our vision and goal in hosting the All Star Game is to make it the greatest party in the city of Worcester next summer,” said team owner John Creedon, Jr. “Apart from music, fireworks, and kids’ games, the event will also feature food, refreshments, and the warm hospitality that have come to define the Bravehearts and Creedon and Co. brands.”
The game itself will feature 60 players representing the ten Futures League franchises in an East Division v. West Division format. Based on the high-caliber talent of the Futures League players, the game is expected to draw scouts from every Major League Baseball team. A Scout Day and Home Run Derby will be held during the afternoon leading up to the game, and fans holding All Star Game tickets are welcome to attend those events at no extra charge.
The 2016 Futures League All Star Experience will also include a series of lead-up events on Tuesday, July 12th such as an MLB All Star Game viewing party with special baseball guests.
“An event like this only comes around once every so often,” said Peterson, “so we are looking to celebrate both Worcester’s proud baseball history and very strong current connection to the sport. Historically, most people are aware that Worcester lays claim to Ted Williams’s first home run, Major League Baseball’s first perfect game, and Ernest Thayer’s ‘Casey At The Bat’ poem. However, more recently, Worcester also has great connections to the MLB teams in this fall’s league Championship Series and World Series. For example, Tim Collins is a World Series champion pitcher for the Kansas City Royals and a graduate of Worcester Technical High School. JP Ricciardi, a Bravehearts’ Advisory Board member and lifelong resident of Worcester County, is Special Assistant to the NY Mets GM. Chris Colabello plays for the Toronto Blue Jays and hails from Milford, MA, graduated from Assumption College, and played several years for the Worcester Tornadoes. Finally, John Andreoli is a Worcester native and graduate of St. John’s High School, and he plays for the Chicago Cubs Triple A affiliate, the Iowa Cubs. Between those highlights and countless others, Worcester has a lot to celebrate and brag about as it relates to baseball.”
Tickets for the 2016 Futures League All Star Experience will be available first to Bravehearts’ season ticket holders and will go on sale to the general public in January.