CORNBELTERS REVEAL MCO LEGENDS GAME RECEPTION AND MEET & GREET PACKAGES!

The Normal CornBelters, presented by the Illinois Corn Farmers, are set to reveal the reception and meet and greet passes for the 2nd Annual MCO Legends Game.

The wait is over, meet and greet passes go on sale tomorrow February 23rd at 10am!

The action starts Friday July 28th, with the MCO Legends reception. The event is a casual social event that takes place from 7:00-9:00 PM at the Corn Crib. The $75 reception will feature all Legends, hor d’oeuvres and a cash bar. You will be able to personally socialize with our Legends. Each player will give a brief introduction followed by a quick Q&A at the beginning of the event. In order to participate you must purchase an MCO Legends game ticket prior to being able to purchase reception and meet and greet passes. If you already have your tickets, no problem. The reception passes can be purchased as an upgrade of $55 total for a box seat ticket and $60 with a bleacher seat ticket.

The $25 pre-game meet and greet on Saturday, July 29th will be a 90 minute on-field autograph signing. (One autograph per legend, No posed pictures.) The $20 7-inning game will take place at 5:00 PM with the Chicago 6 Band concert featuring Dan Hampton and Steve McMichael of  the 1985 Super Bowl champion Chicago Bears to follow.

Have you ever wanted to step up to the plate against a Major League pitcher?  Here is your chance.  The Normal CornBelters will offer an online auction for 2 captain spots and two player spots for the 7 inning game.  Details on bidding will be available on our website Friday, February 24th and bidding will start February 27th at 10:00 am.

Purchase your tickets now at www.normalbaseball.com or by calling (309)-454-2255.

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THE NIBLET: Too many emails? Be sure to follow us on Facebook at Normal CornBelters and on Twitter at normal_baseball for all the latest updates and announcements regarding promotional nights and events all season long out at the Corn Crib.

SYNTHETIC TURF INSTALLATION BEGINS AT CARSHIELD FIELD

After several years of discussion and planning, the River City Rascals and the City of O’Fallon are officially moving forward with installation of synthetic turf at CarShield Field. The turf had been at the top of the Rascals wish list as it will allow them to play more baseball games and host more events at the facility than a traditional natural grass surface. The project is expected to be completed before the Rascals first game of the season on Friday, May 5.

Of the twelve teams in the Frontier League, the Rascals will be the ninth to make the transition from natural grass to synthetic turf. There are several reasons that facilities prefer the artificial turf, but the biggest is playability. CarShield Field will now have the ability to host events such as high school and college soccer, lacrosse, softball, large concert series, and major college baseball. With a natural grass surface, the field needs time to “rest and recuperate” after a long weekend baseball tournament or a six-game homestand. However, with an artificial turf surface, games can be played all day, every day. The Rascals expect to increase the number of events held at CarShield Field from the current 125 to over 200 in the coming years.

“To say this project is a game-changer for the Rascals and CarShield Field would be an understatement,” said Rascals President Dan Dial. “Our goal has always been to provide as many exciting and family-friendly events at our facility as possible each year. We are the premier destination in St. Charles County for sports entertainment, but the installation of synthetic turf will allow us to dramatically expand our profile of events to include major concerts and high-level athletics. There will be something for everyone!”

The construction and installation of the turf will be done by ATG Sports; a Midwest based company with over 35 years of experience. ATG has installed hundreds of turf fields and recently completed an artificial football field project at Christian High School in O’Fallon.

One of the major events the Rascals have acquired as a result of the turf installation is the STL Legends Game being played at CarShield Field on Saturday, August 19. Former Cardinals Jim Edmonds, Rick Ankiel, Skip Schumacher, Fernando Tatis, and several others will entertain fans during the seven inning affair. The artificial turf gave the Rascals the peace of mind to book such a high-profile game. “This is an event we’ve wanted to put together for our fans for several years, but you need the security that turf provides to make sure you don’t get rained out. An artificial turf field can be ready to play practically fifteen minutes after a storm passes,” said Dial.

Construction of the turf will continue throughout the winter and spring, as well as other small renovations to the facility. Once completed, the Rascals expect to bring in up to 10,000 new visitors to the ballpark in 2017 and continue expanding that number in the seasons to come.

BOOMERS ADD THREE TO SPRING TRAINING ROSTER

The 2016 Frontier League Organization of the Year Schaumburg Boomers and Manager Jamie Bennett announced the additions of RHP Richard England, RHP Evan Raynor and RHP Cody Culp for the 2017 season. Additionally, the Schaumburg Boomers have traded OF/1B Paul Kronenfeld to the New Britain Bees of the Atlantic League.

England, 23, joins the Boomers after completing his collegiate career at the University of Illinois – Springfield. The Centerville, Iowa native appeared in 20 games in 2016 for the Prairie Stars and lead the team in saves (11). England only allowed opposing batted to hit .229 against. Prior to his two year career at the University of Illinois – Springfield, England transferred from Marshalltown Community College in Iowa.

Culp, 23, joins the Boomers on a trade with fellow Salivi Sports owned Gary SouthShore RailCats of the American Association. Culp spent the 2016 season with the Texas AirHogs, having appeared in 23 games. Prior to his time in the American Association, Culp led the University of Hawai’i bullpen with 31 mound appearances while logging a 3-1 record and a 2.16 ERA. The Washington native led the staff with a 7.4:1 strikeout-to-walk ratio, putting away 37 batters by strikeout. In 2016, Culp was named among the All-Big West Baseball league honorees.

Raynor, 23, spends his summer in Schaumburg after completing his redshirt-Junior year at Charleston Southern University. He posted a 3.23 ERA with 77 strikeouts. Raynor had a short stint with the Lake Erie Crushers last year.

Kronenfeld, 24, originally signed with the Boomers in 2016 following two seasons in the Cincinnati Reds farm system and was selected to be a part of the 2016 Frontier League All-Star Team.

“Paul has been a great player to have both on and off the field,” Bennett said. “He has contributed a lot to the Boomers organization while during his time here and we wish him the best is as he moves forward in his career.

The right-hander saw action on the field at first and in both corner outfield slots while also serving at the designated hitter in 2016. The Boomers leader in homeruns (10) and RBIs (49) during the 2016 season, Kronenfeld posted a .279/.356/.475 during his time with the team.

England and Clup join eighteen fellow players under contract for Bennett’s 2017 roster. Up to 34 players will be on the roster when Spring Training begins at Boomers Stadium in late April as Schaumburg looks to bring home once again the Frontier League Championship.

The 2017 season kicks off on Friday, May 12th as the Schaumburg Boomers begin their 2017 journey with three straight days of Fireworks. The Boomers will host the Traverse City Beach Bums at 6:30 p.m. Season Tickets, Group Outings, and Boomer Bundle ticket packages are all available now by calling (847)461-3695.

OTTERS, McCAULEY FINALIZE COACHING STAFF

The Evansville Otters and manager Andy McCauley announced the team will bring back the entire coaching staff from last season after winning the 2016 Frontier League championship in September.

McCauley is entering his eighth season as manager of the Otters and familiar faces will accompany him in the dugout at Bosse Field.

Charles “Boots” Day returns for his sixth season as a coach with the Otters as he will serve as the bench coach in 2017. Day was the franchise’s first manager in 1995, leading the team to a 31-38 record after a playing career that included stints with the St. Louis Cardinals, Chicago Cubs and Montreal Expos over a six-year period.

“Boots brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to our staff,” McCauley said. “He also does a great job recruiting at the California Winter League and working with our outfielders.”

Bobby Segal will be in his second season with the team as hitting coach this summer. Segal, an Indiana University graduate, served as a collegiate hitting coach for nine seasons and a summer coach for five before joining the Otters in 2016.

“His tireless work ethic and commitment to his hitters made an immediate impact,” McCauley said. “Bobby’s collegiate contacts have been very helpful in finding rookie players.”

Max Peterson returns to Evansville for his fourth season as the Otters’ pitching coach. Peterson, a San Diego native, was hired in 2014 after a five-year playing career that included time in the Oakland A’s and Chicago White Sox organizations.

“Max has done a fantastic job with the pitching staff since he came to Evansville,” McCauley said. “He’s a great communicator, well organized and is a major contributor.”

Rob Watson will continue in his role as an assistant coach specializing in player procurement and Phil Britton will serve as the catching instructor.

Watson was on McCauley’s first staff in Evansville during the 2010 season.

“Rob has been with me every year,” McCauley said. “He has been extremely helpful in finding talent.”

Britton played under McCauley with Evansville in 2011, finishing the season with two home runs and 15 RBIs.

“Phil was an outstanding player for me here,” McCauley said. “His catching experience and knowledge has been extremely helpful in evaluating and teaching.”

Evansville will open the regular season in Marion, Ill. May 12 against the Southern Illinois Miners at 7:05 p.m. and will celebrate Bosse Field’s Opening Night May 19 against the Gateway Grizzlies at 6:35 p.m.

The Evansville Otters are the 2006 and 2016 Frontier League champions. Group packages and season tickets are now on sale. For more information, visit evansvilleotters.com or call 812-435-8686.

FREEDOM TO HOST COMMUNITY JOB FAIR

During the opening month of the season for the Florence Freedom, presented by Titan Mechanical Solutions, the team will be hosting job fairs designed for students.

Businesses that typically hire high school and college aged young adults during the summer months are available to contact the Freedom and set up a job hiring booth at the ballpark.

Hiring event dates are tied into the local school systems:

May 17 – Erlanger / Elsmere Independent & St. Henry District School Spirit Night
May 18 – Boone County School Spirit Night
May 24 – Kenton County School Spirit Night
May 25 – Campbell County, Beechwood & Cincinnati Public School Spirit Night

Interested employers can reach the Freedom at 859-594-4487 to set up modestly priced recruiting booths. Discounts are available for multiple dates, with advertising and tickets included for business use.

Times for each game range from 7:05pm (May 17 & May 25) to 5:35pm (May 18 &24), with gates opening to the public an hour before game time.
For students wanting to participate in the hiring event, they are encouraged to work through their schools for discounted game tickets. A portion of their ticket sale will then go back to school programs.

Single game tickets will go on sale March 1 through FlorenceFreedom.com.

Students attending the games will not only be able to participate in the job fair, but also see their fellow classmates performing on the field with a band, choir & cheer routine. Specific details to each night will be released as the dates get closer.

The Florence Freedom are members of the professional Independent Frontier League and play all home games at UC Health Stadium located at 7950 Freedom Way in Florence, KY.

The 2017 home opener is slated for 7:05pm on Wednesday, May 17 and include appearances by four members of the Cincinnati 1990 World Series champion team, including original Freedom manager Chris Sabo. Tickets for this night are currently on sale at FlorenceFreedom.com.

BOOMERS TO HOLD CONTEST FOR ON-FIELD EMCEE

The Schaumburg Boomers are now taking applications for those interested in becoming the new on-field talent and emcee for the 2017 season.

The Boomers will begin accepting online submissions immediately via YouTube.  After reviewing the entries, which will close on Wednesday, March 8th at 12pm, finalists will be invited to Boomers Stadium for an audition in front of Boomers staff.

The On-Field Emcee is an essential part of the game day staff and works hand in hand with the Director of Creative Services and Director of Community Relations to create a fun, family atmosphere at the ballpark.

The Boomers are looking for a high-energy individual with excellent improve skills, a knowledge of baseball, and the ability to speak to large crowds.  Those interested in entering the contest must be prepared to work all 48 Boomers regular season games and any playoff games.

TO ENTER: In order to be a finalist, every candidate must submit a resume and an audition reel/video to Casey Woodman, Director of Creative Services, and Kelsey Gilbert, Director of Community Relations.  Candidates are required to either send a link to the video on YouTube or attach the mp4 video file in an email message to boomersemcee@gmail.com.

All submissions must be received by Wednesday, March 8th at 12pm in order to be considered.  The finalists will audition at Boomers Stadium in a contest designed to test voice projection, tone, pronunciation, improvisation skills, and general feel for the position.

GRIZZLIES NAME FORMER CARDINAL KEN OBERKFELL HITTING COACH FOR 2017 SEASON

The Grizzlies are adding another former Major League player to their field staff for the 2017 season. Ken Oberkfell, a former St. Louis Cardinal third baseman, will take over as the Grizzlies’ head hitting coach.

The former World Series champion spent 15 years in the majors, seven of which were with the Cardinals where he won the Fall Classic with them in 1982. During his time in the big leagues, the southern Illinois native put together a .278 career batting average with 1,354 hits and 446 RBIs.

“I’m happy and excited about this opportunity,” said Oberkfell. “I grew up in Maryville, Illinois and it’s great to be able to work for an organization that is close to home.”

Oberkfell has coaching experience that dates back to the early 2000’s. He has been involved with independent league, minor league, and major league clubs.  He took a break from coaching after the 2015 baseball season, where he coached the Lincoln Saltdogs of the American Association of Independent Professional Baseball.

Oberkfell returns to independent league baseball for the 2017 season with a lot of excitement.

“It’s good baseball when you start working with these young kids that are hungry as they are trying to get to the minors.” Oberkfell said. “As a coach, when you get a chance to work with those players, it’s really enjoyable. I’m excited about working with Phil and helping him out in any way that I can.”

With the addition of new pitching coach and former MLB pitcher Randy Wells and now Oberkfell, Grizzlies’ manager Phil Warren will also see this season as a chance to learn.

“We look forward to learning from Ken as well as enjoying his presence on and off the field,” Warren said. “Our players will certainly benefit from his teachings and I look forward to watching him work.”
The Grizzlies’ Opening Day will be on May 12 against Florence Freedom. First pitch will come at 7:05 pm. For tickets and more information, call the box office at 618-337-3000 or CLICK HERE! ­

ABOUT THE GATEWAY GRIZZLIES: The Gateway Grizzlies are a professional baseball team, located a mere 100-yards from I255 (10 minutes from downtown St. Louis). The Grizzlies offer baseball fans entertainment, the likes of which are difficult to find – affordable, family, fun in a comfortable ballpark with a great view of the St. Louis skyline. For tickets or general information please visit gatewaygrizzlies.com or call 618.337.3000

ABOUT THE FRONTIER LEAGUE: The Frontier League is celebrating its 25th year as a professional, independent baseball organization. Since its inception, the Frontier League has provided millions of fans to a fun and exciting baseball experience within the American Midwest. Consisting of 12 teams in two divisions and 96 game schedules, the league is recognized for the amount of talented athletes that are picked up by various MLB teams every year.

MARK PRIOR IS WELCOMED TO McCLEAN COUNTY ORTHOPEDICS’ LEGENDS GAME

The Normal CornBelters, presented by the Illinois Corn Farmers, are excited to announce former Cubs ace pitcher Mark Prior to participate in the 2nd Annual McLean County Orthopedics’ Legends Game weekend!

Mark Prior is a former Chicago Cubs pitcher from 2002-2006. In 1998 Prior was drafted in the first round by the New York Yankees but decided to go to Vanderbilt University for his freshman year and later transferred to the University of Southern California where he received many Player of the Year  Awards, Golden Spikes Award, Rotary Smith Award and Dick Howser Trophy.  Prior made his Major League debut with the Chicago Cubs in 2001 as a 2nd overall pick.  Prior played in the MLB All-Star game as a Chicago Cub in 2003.

The game on Saturday July 29, 2017 at 5:00 PM will feature former MLB Legends as well as superstar athletes. The roster to date of Legends participating in the events are: Mark Prior, Jose Canseco, Rick Ankiel, Ron “R-Truth” Killings, Bobby Dernier, Isaac Byrd, Brian Jordan, Mike Fontenot, Mitch “Wild Thing” Williams and Carlos Zambrano.

The weekend of events includes a  $75 Friday night reception (500 available) with hor d’oeuvres and cash bar, $25 pre-game (1000 available)  autograph-signing meet and greet and $20 7-inning game and a post-game concert featuring The Chicago 6 Band. The reception pass and meet and greets will go on sale to the general public this Wednesday, February 22nd at 10:00 AM. You must purchase a game ticket prior to being able to purchase reception and or meet and greet passes. This year there will be 2 Captain spots and two player spots available via an email bid auction.  Further details will be made available this week on our website.

Purchase your tickets now at www.normalbaseball.com or by calling (309)-454-2255!

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THE NIBLET:  Too many emails? Be sure to follow us on Facebook (Normal CornBelters) and on Twitter (normal_baseball) for all the latest updates and announcements regarding promotional nights and events all season long out at The Corn Crib.

CORNBELTERS ANNOUNCE TICKETS ON SALE FOR RYNE SANDBERG APPEARANCE

The Normal CornBelters, presented by the Illinois Corn Farmers, are excited to announce former American MLB player, coach and manager, Ryne “Ryno” Sandberg to the Corn Crib!

Sandberg’s appearance will take place on Sunday May 28, 2017 at 4:35 pm vs. the Lake Erie Crushers. Sandberg will coach 3rd base, as honorary manager and his signed jersey items will be auctioned both live and silent, proceeds will benefit the Miracle League. All tickets are now on sale for $15.00. Each week up until Sandberg’s appearance we will draw 10 seats per week to meet Ryne and on the day of the game 500 lucky fans will be drawn at random to meet this legend (one signed item, no posed pictures).

Purchase your tickets now at www.normalbaseball.com or by calling (309)-454-2255 for your chance to meet this prestigious legend! Stay social on Facebook for updates on the 10 lucky winners each week!

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THE NIBLET:  Too many emails? Be sure to follow us on Facebook (Normal CornBelters) and on Twitter (normal_baseball) for all the latest updates and announcements regarding promotional nights and events all season long out at The Corn Crib.

MINERS ANNOUNCE “THE LINKS AT RENT ONE PARK”

For anyone who has ever dreamed of hitting a golf ball in a baseball stadium, now is your chance! The Southern Illinois Miners announce that they will turn Rent One Park into a nine-hole golf experience, “The Links at Rent One Park,” from April 20-24. VisitSI.com will be the legacy sponsor along with hospitality sponsor Peoples National Bank.

“The opportunity to play golf inside a minor league ballpark does not come along every day,” said Miners COO Mike Pinto. “We are looking forward to working with our corporate partners to make this an unforgettable experience.”

The nine holes span a variety of distances, angles and elevations. Each epic tee box will give you a completely unique golf shot that cannot be duplicated anywhere else. Every hole will have its own unique theme, including the “Winter Wonderland Weather Hole,” with snow and wind blowing on the golfer, and the “Heckler Hole,” where golfers will have to play through crowd noise and heckling (that will be encouraged).

Other themes will include a “Beerfest Hole,” with beer samplings available, the “Eclipse Hole,” the “Arnold Palmer Hole,” where shots will be taken with old wooden-shafted irons, the “Grand Slam Hole,” where golfers will hit the ball literally “out of the ballpark” at a target green outside the stadium, and the “Beat The Pro” hole, where golfers can win prizes by beating the shot of a PGA professional. The course will also have a few hazards and sand traps. Mulligans will be available for purchase on select holes with the proceeds being donated to the United Way.

“Playing a nine-hole course at a venue like Rent One Park will be a once-in-a-lifetime round and we can’t wait to bring another Premium Stadium Experience to the people in our region and surrounding areas,” Pinto added. “This is going to be a blast- like with “Winter Wonderland,” this fits our ‘Disney at the Diamond’ approach to creating unique experiences at the park.”

A round of golf at “The Links at Rent One Park” will cost $80 for pairs and $160 for foursomes, including a commemorative gifts and two 2017 Opening Day Miners tickets. Non-golfers, friends and family will be allowed into the stadium to be part of the gallery at no charge.

“This will be a great ‘get-together’ night, night out, date night or an opportunity to entertain customers,” Pinto said. “Of course with this format, you don’t need to be a serious golfer- anyone can do this, and an entire round will take a little more than an hour. But serious golfers will find a challenge here, too.”

Register for a tee time and be part of a rare club of people who have played golf inside a baseball stadium. Tee times can be reserved by the public at www.southernillinoisminers.com/links beginning at 10:00 a.m. on March 2nd. Miners season ticket holders with a paid agreement for 2017 will have a priority window and the opportunity to make tee time reservations beginning at 10:00 a.m. on March 1st. Corporate events can be arranged by calling the Miners ticket office while tee times are available.

HOW IT WORKS:

“The Links at Rent One Park” will feature five greens and seven holes painted into the Rent One Park outfield and adjoining Fireworks area (see course map attached). Golfers will be awarded points depending on the landing area of their tee shot. Only putting holes will putt out. Distances of the holes will range from 60 yards to 140 yards and golfers must bring their own wedges, 9- and 8-irons only for use at Rent One Park. All golf balls will be provided and a putter will be provided for the putting challenge.

The rules for “The Links At Rent One Park” are simple. Each golfer will get two shots at each hole, with the best of the two shots being counted as follows:

– HOLE IN ONE (1 point): if the ball goes in the hole. Mark an ace on your scorecard and start bragging!

– BIRDIE (2 points): if your ball comes to rest in the marked/colored area immediately surrounding the hole

– PAR (3 points): if your ball comes to rest on the green surrounding the hole

– BOGEY (4 points): if your ball lands anywhere outside the green

– DOUBLE BOGEY (5 points): if your ball comes to a rest in any hazard on the course, our out of the stadium (except on the Grand Slam Hole)

Hole #5 and Hole #9 are putting holes, and points for these holes will be awarded by number of putts taken. Each hole will have an attendant who will provide information on that hole and help locate each golfer’s shots for scoring purposes. Foursomes will also have a caddy to walk you through the course and keep the official scorecard for the group. The Miners’ batting cage will be converted into a warm-up area for golfers to get ready to play the course.

Golfers will start off with registration in the Diamond Club with the opening tee shot taken from home plate. Just like the professionals, golfers’ names and hometowns will be announced to the gallery while their shot is shown on the video board. Tee shots will then be taken from all around the stadium onto the Rent One Park outfield, including tee boxes built off the Miners’ home dugout, Party Porch, Bullpen Bar & Grill area, Fun Zone and Picnic Garden. There will also be a putting green hole inside the Miners’ home clubhouse for a unique “fungo golf” experience not normally available to the public where golfers can see the Miners’ Honor Wall, team celebration photos and more.

The round concludes on the concourse with an obstacle-filled putting challenge hole, with golfers having the option to hit the final shot using a hockey stick putter, akin to the one used in the movie “Happy Gilmore.” Top scores from the weekend will be displayed on the course leaderboard, with the top golfers from the weekend earning special Miners Prize Packs and other gifts. The best score for the weekend will also receive special recognition.

The experience will conclude on the concourse in front of the gallery at the Miners’ new Home Plate Bar, where golfers will have the opportunity to relax with additional food and beverages available for purchase, watch other golfers and shop for limited-edition commemorative merchandise in the pro shop. Your experience will be unlike any other golf experience, complete with memories to last a lifetime.

Be sure to follow the Miners on Facebook, Twitter (@SIMiners) and Instagram as well as Snapchat this offseason as they prepare for 2017!

The Southern Illinois Miners are the 2016 Frontier League West Division Champions, the 2014 and 2015 Frontier League East Division Champions and the 2012 Frontier League Champions. They have been awarded the Frontier League Organization of the Year award three times since their inception, and also set a new Frontier League attendance record in 2007, their inaugural season. For ticket information, contact the Rent One Park box office at (618) 998-8499. For any additional information, visit our website at www.southernillinoisminers.com.

SLAMMERS RELEASE 2017 PROMOTIONAL SCHEDULE

The Joliet Slammers presented by ATI Physical Therapy have an exciting lineup of both returning promotions and all new promotions for the 2017 season. Promotional highlights include fifteen fireworks shows this season, including a handful of newly added Saturday night shows, the return of Thirsty Thursdays featuring drink specials by Bud Light, afternoon Sunday games with full team autographs and Kids Run the Bases presented by Andy’s Frozen Custard, and a full calendar of theme nights.

The Slammers open the season on the road against the Lake Erie Crushers on May 12 before they open at home on Tuesday, May 16. Opening day at the Slammers stadium is a $2 Tuesday with reserved seats starting at just $2. The month of May features 11 home games in total, including three education days on May 17, 18 and 24 and Superhero Night on Friday May 19with a post-game fireworks show.

Rolling into June, the Slammers bring back some of their top promotional nights including Princess Night on June 2 with princesses provided by Magic, Music, and More and post-game fireworks by Lumina Pyrotechnics. The first Bark in the Park of the season will be held on June 4 and a St. Patrick’s Day Celebration will be held on June 24. New this season is the Slammers Hispanic Heritage night on Saturday, June 3 featuring the Slammers first Saturday night fireworks show of the season.

The Slammers kick-off July with a three-day Independence Day Celebration with games July 3-5. The home stand against the River City Rascals will feature two fireworks shows over the three days – one on Monday, July 3, and the second on Tuesday, July 4. July Fourth will also be a $2 Tuesday.

The following week, the Slammers host the 2017 Frontier League All-Star Game. Frontier League All-Stars, staffs, and fans from all other 11 teams in the league will be coming into Joliet July 10-12 for All-Star activities.

On Tuesday, July 11, the Bill Lee Golf Outing will be held at the Mistwood Golf Club between 8 am and 2 pm, followed by the Home Run Derby that night at 7 pm. On Wednesday, July 12, the Frontier League Hall of Fame induction ceremony and luncheon will be held in the Grand Ballroom at Joliet Union Station between 11:30 am and 1 pm. The All-Star Game will take place Wednesday night at 7 pm. Tickets will go on sale for the Home Run Derby and All-Star Game in early March.

July will also feature an all new Royalty Night on Saturday, July 22 with princesses and their princes provided by Magic, Music, and More. The night will also feature another Saturday night fireworks show.

Both August and September include returning promotions like Star Wars night on Saturday, August 12 with post-game fireworks, Pet Day on Sunday, August 13 when fans can bring in any type of pet either on a leash or in a carrier, and the Slammers Stand up for Blue Night as they recognize area law enforcement.  Faith night is an all new promotion that will take place on Saturday, August 26, along with the new addition of a Sports Career Fair on Sunday, August 27.

The Slammers wrap up their 2017 regular season the first week of September with games September 1- 3, again featuring two fireworks shows in one weekend.

Group tickets and ticket plans (including full season, half season, fireworks packages, and grass passes) are all now on sale. Individual game tickets will go on sale in April. For more information, visit jolietslammers.com or call the Box Office at (815) 722-2287.

About the Joliet Slammers: The Joliet Slammers presented by ATI Physical Therapy play at the Slammers Stadium downtown Joliet, Illinois, and are members of the professional, independent Frontier League.  The Frontier League is a 12-team league entering its 25th season of play in 2017.  Visit the Slammers online at www.jolietslammers.com or call the ticket office at 815-722-2287 for more information! Don’t forget to “Like” the Slammers on Facebook at www.facebook.com/jolietslammers or follow them on Twitter at @jolietslammers!

BOSSE FIELD TO HOST “DEPICTING THE DIAMOND”

The Evansville Otters have teamed up with Painting With a Twist to present Depicting the Diamond.

The event will take place Sunday, May 7 at 1 p.m. and it allows participants the opportunity to paint the façade of Bosse Field.

Cost is $35 per person and everyone receives a general admission ticket to a 2017 Otters’ home game.

Beer, wine and concessions will also be available.

Registration is now underway; contact Megan Thompson at 812-435-8686 or mthompson@evansvilleotters.com to sign up for the event.

Evansville will open the regular season in Marion, Ill. May 12 against the Southern Illinois Miners at 7:05 p.m. and will celebrate Bosse Field’s Opening Night May 19 against the Gateway Grizzlies at 6:35 p.m.

The Evansville Otters are the 2006 and 2016 Frontier League champions. Group packages and season tickets are now on sale. For more information, visit evansvilleotters.com or call 812-435-8686.

OTTERS’ CLOSER RANDY McCURRY SIGNS WITH CHICAGO CUBS

The Chicago Cubs have signed right-handed pitcher Randy McCurry.

“Randy continued in a long line of good closers,” Otters manager Andy McCauley said. “He shortened the game for us, I had a lot of confidence in him getting the last three outs.

“His skill level was certainly above the level of the league and we wish him the best of luck with the Cubs’ organization.”

McCurry, a Tupelo, Okla. native, finished the regular season with 23 saves for the Otters and made 35 appearances. He struck out 41 batters and finished with a 2.11 ERA in 34 innings of regular season work.

“It’s great for the organization as a whole, the commitment of Mr. (Bill) Bussing to provide good quality family entertainment as well as giving these players the opportunity to move on,” McCauley said. “It’s something the whole Otters’ organization can be proud of.”

In the postseason, McCurry made four appearances and finished with three saves in 3.2 innings of work while not allowing an earned run.

“It’s pretty cool, we won a championship last year and the Cubs won the World Series,” McCauley said. “He was actually out in Arizona throwing to big league hitters and was seen that way.

“His maturity on the field and off is certainly going to help him.”

McCurry previously played for the Hillsboro Hops in the Arizona Diamondbacks’ organization in 2013 and he’s excited for the opportunity to be back in affiliated baseball.

“It’s a really good feeling,” McCurry said. “This next year is definitely going to be a good year to be a Cub.”

After playing a season in Evansville, McCurry appreciates the support he received from the local community.

“I love it, it felt more like family,” he said. “It was a really good atmosphere, the town was big enough but it seemed like everyone remembered you.”

McCurry is the fourth pitcher on last season’s roster to be signed by an affiliated organization. Max Duval and Ryan Atkinson were signed by the Diamondbacks’ organization while Matt Wivinis landed with the New York Yankees.

Evansville will open the regular season in Marion, Ill. May 12 against the Southern Illinois Miners at 7:05 p.m. and will celebrate Bosse Field’s Opening Night May 19 against the Gateway Grizzlies at 6:35 p.m.

The Evansville Otters are the 2006 and 2016 Frontier League champions. Group packages and season tickets are now on sale. For more information, visit evansvilleotters.com or call 812-435-8686.

LANGBEHN COMMITS TO WASHINGTON THROUGH 2019

The Washington Wild Things announce today that they have signed field manager Gregg Langbehn to a contract extension through the 2019 season.

The Wisconsin native was tapped as Washington’s manager prior to the 2016 season, following a two year stint with the Cleveland Indian’s Major League staff.

Langbehn previously managed the Traverse City Beach Bums of the Frontier League from 2008-2013, and he won the 2012 Roger Hanners’ Manager of the Year Award.

“The organization is very happy to extend Gregg’s contract and to continue to build on our successes from 2016,” said Wild Things’ General Manager Steven Zavacky. “This extension shows Gregg’s commitment to the Wild Things’ organization and the Washington community, striving for greatness on and off the field. The stability he provides this franchise is outdone only by the leadership he offers our players. We are lucky to have him, his wife (Shelly) and his children (Nate & Rayna) as part of our Washington family.”

In 2016, as the manager of the Wild Things, Langbehn achieved 300 career wins in the Frontier League while also directing the Washington pitching staff that finished third in team ERA and lead the league in fewest hits allowed and the most saves collected.  During his first season in Washington, Langbehn had four players advance to the Frontier League All-Star game, and he saw promotions for RHP Trevor Foss and RHP Zac Grotz to the Cleveland Indians and Los Angeles Dodgers respectively.

“I would like to thank Stu & Francine Williams, Steve Zavacky, Tony Buccilli and the rest of the front office staff for giving me the opportunity to manage the Wild Things,” said Langbehn. I would also like to thank my wife Shelly and my children Nate and Rayna for being so supportive of me over the years in professional baseball. I look forward to the upcoming 2017 season and years beyond as we continue to pursue a Championship and give the great fans of Washington and the surrounding communities something to look forward to each and every night at the ballpark.  My family and I look forward to creating many great memories with the Wild Things.”

The Wild Things will celebrate 15 years of baseball when they open their home season on Friday, May 19th.  Season ticket package and group packages are available for purchase now at the park box office.

VETERAN SEGOVIA, 3 CWL PLAYERS SIGN WITH OTTERS

The Evansville Otters have signed catcher/first baseman Alejandro Segovia, right-handed pitchers Joe Mello and Andrew Moralez, and infielder Lance Montano.

Segovia last played for the Montgomery Biscuits (AA) in the Tampa Bay Rays organization during the 2014 season. With the Biscuits, Segovia batted .224 with 66 hits and 33 RBIs. In seven seasons with affiliated baseball (2008-14), Segovia hit .268 with 87 doubles, 52 home runs and 216 RBIs.

“Alejandro should be a power threat in the middle of our lineup,” Otters manager Andy McCauley said.

The three other signees came from the California Winter League.

Mello was signed after playing for Pittsburg in the Pacific Association last season. With the Mettle, Mello appeared in 23 games and finished with a 2-2 record and 2.86 ERA. He pitched 28.1 innings and struck out 41 batters, walking 24.

Moralez played college baseball nearby at Kentucky Wesleyan College in Owensboro, Ky. from 2013-16. Last spring, he appeared in nine games and started four of them, finishing the season with a 3-2 record and 4.19 ERA in 34.1 innings of work.

Montano played last spring for the University of Rio Grande (Ohio). In 2016, Montano hit .332 and finished with 52 RBIs, 11 doubles, 1 triple and 5 home runs.

“All three performed well at the California Winter League,” McCauley said. “We are looking for them to compete for jobs during spring training.”

Evansville will open the regular season in Marion, Ill. May 12 against the Southern Illinois Miners at 7:05 p.m. and will celebrate Bosse Field’s Opening Night May 19 against the Gateway Grizzlies at 6:35 p.m.

The Evansville Otters are the 2006 and 2016 Frontier League champions. Group packages and season tickets are now on sale. For more information, visit evansvilleotters.com or call 812-435-8686.