Man Dies While Competing in Taco-Eating Contest

A man participating in a taco-eating contest at a Fresno Grizzlies (Triple-A, Pacific Coast League) game died Tuesday night after officials say he began choking.  There is no official cause of death pending an investigation, but emergency staff at the hospital reportedly did clear food from the man’s throat, and preliminary indications are that he died of choking.  Read more here.  View statement from the Grizzlies here.

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Land Sale Agreement Advances Thundering Herd Ballpark Project

Members of the Huntington Municipal Development Authority agreed Monday to sell the future site of the planned Marshall University baseball stadium to the university.  Construction of the the $22-million, 3,500-seat stadium is slated to be placed out for bid by November 2019 with ground breaking by March 2020.  Read more here.

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Rascals to Cease Operations, Otters Take Wait-and-See Approach as Frontier League/Can-Am League Merger Talks Continue

As recently reported, after 21 years, the River City Rascals (Independent Professional, Frontier League) will cease operations at the end of the 2019 baseball season.  The city of O’Fallon (MO) has started looking for another team to play at CarShield Field in 2020.  Read more here.  Meanwhile, Evansville Otters owner Bill Bussing is taking a wait-and-see approach to the Rascals’ imminent departure from the league and a possible Frontier League/Can-Am League merger.  Read more here.  Thanks to John Cerone for the link to the Otters article.

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RiverDogs to Host 17th Annual Ballpark Festival of Beers Saturday

The Charleston RiverDogs (Single-A, South Atlantic League) will be hosting the 17th annual Festival of Beers at Joseph P. Riley Jr. Park on Saturday, Aug. 17, starting at 7 p.m.  There will be more than 100 breweries, both domestic and international, serving up a wide variety of suds.   Like any beer festival, there will be more than just the cold stuff going down smooth — enjoy musical stylings by the Blue Plantation Band and Baby Fat Band, plus eats from Kickin’ Chicken, Holy Rolly Charleston, Braised in the South, and Bearded Dogs.  Read more here.

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Prospects Make Pitch for Lease Extension, Future Unclear

With its four-year lease expiring in March 2020, the Edmonton Prospects (Summer Collegiate, Western Canadian Baseball League) has submitted a tenancy proposal for a 10-year lease of Re/Max Field.  But it’s not the only group vying for the anchor space around a larger redevelopment of the surrounding neighborhood.  Read more here.

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MLB to Play at ‘Field of Dreams’ Site

As announced last week, the “Field of Dreams site in Dyersville (IA) will become big-league reality on August 13, 2020, when the Chicago White Sox and New York Yankees will take the field surrounded by fans cheering from a temporary 8,000-seat ballpark to be constructed on the farm site where the classic film was shot.  Construction on the ballpark will begin Tuesday.  Read more here.  Read about how the business community in tiny Dyersville is handling the news here.

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Ballpark Topping-Off Ceremony in Wichita

A topping off ceremony was held Wednesday morning at the site of the new baseball stadium under construction in Wichita (KS) for the relocating New Orleans Baby Cakes (Triple-A, Pacific Coast League).  A steel beam signed by those who are working to build the new ballpark was hoisted to the top of the park.  It is the last beam of the structure to be placed.  Read more and view photos here.  Watch news report here.

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