Wild Things to host Frontier League All-Star game
TribLIVE Sports Videos
With five division titles and six playoff appearances over their 11-season history in Washington County, the Wild Things have proven capable of beating their Frontier League rivals on the field.
Recently, the organization scored a significant victory off it.
The Wild Things will host the 2013 Frontier League All-Star game, the team formally announced Thursday.
Part of a four-day smorgasbord of activities meant to promote baseball and the Washington region, the All-Star game will be played July 17 at Consol Energy Park in North Franklin Township.
“It's really about a yearlong process,” owner Stuart Williams said of securing the event, which his team also hosted in 2005. “You make your proposals and you battle it out with the other owners — and it's a very spirited sort of an environment.
“Everybody wants to have it because this fulfills that special part of your charter in a different way than you do it every year.”
Players selected from the independent Frontier League's 14 teams will arrive in Washington on July 15 for a reception.
The following day, players and other league representatives will volunteer for the Washington County Habitat for Humanity before being treated to activities such as bowling, golf and sightseeing.
A home-run derby and a softball game between several Frontier League all-stars and the Akron Racers, a professional women's fastpitch team, are planned for July 16.
The Racers also will host a softball clinic for young girls that day.
In a league that stretches from Washington west to St. Louis, the format for the All-Star game is the East Division vs. West Division.
Frontier League commissioner Bill Lee said the league's All-Star game “really exploded” in popularity a decade ago when attendance topped 6,000 in Sauget, Ill.
He said roughly 5,000 packed Consol Energy Park for the event two years later.
“Then each year, everyone tries to top each other,” Lee said.
“It becomes a real competition, and I love it, I really do. I think it's great for our league. Just the competition between the owners is kind of fun to watch.
“It's fun to watch everybody really put their best forward and try to impress everyone else in the league.”
That's similar to how the unaffiliated Frontier League's best players strive to impress major league scouts to earn a contract in affiliated baseball — a jump scores of players have made.
North Hills graduate Andrew Heck set team records at Duquesne before the school dropped the baseball program in 2010.
He finished his college career at Oklahoma State and has fulfilled a goal of playing professionally — near his hometown, no less.
His next goal is to play in an All-Star game so close to home.
“How many times do you get to do that?” Heck said. “Even in the major leagues, there's not too many guys who ever get an opportunity to play in an All-Star game ... in their hometown. So it's a great opportunity, and I'm looking forward to hopefully earning a spot to play in it.”
Chris Adamski is a freelance writer.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Starkey: Would one big move kill Pirates’ future?
- Liriano, Pirates beat Giants, inch closer to lead in NL Central
- Steelers offensive linemen looking to build on strong 2013 finish
- Pirates inquire about Red Sox LHP Lester
- Former walk-ons may lose scholarships under Penn State’s Franklin
- Father, son killed in East Huntingdon crash
- Penn Township man seeking gun permit accused of bringing heroin to courthouse
- Pirates think Mercer’s defense deserves more credit
- Valley resident new CEO at Jefferson
- Rivers Casino sued by family of patron who died in car crash
- YouTube campaign by Latrobe 4-year-old aids Alzheimer’s Association