Daily News

Blue Sox to Host 2018 NECBL All-Star Game

HOLYOKE — The Valley Blue Sox announced they will play host to the 2018 New England Collegiate Baseball League (NECBL) All-Star Game this summer on Sunday, July 29 at Mackenzie Stadium in Holyoke.

The league’s showcase event will be the third major NECBL event hosted by the Blue Sox in the past five years. The team last hosted the NECBL All-Star Game in 2014 and hosted the NECBL Championship Series this past August, winning their its NECBL championship in franchise history.

“It’s a big deal for us to land the All-Star Game for our fans,” said Blue Sox General Manager Hunter Golden. “Getting to host the game the second time in five years is humbling, but we also feel it’s a reflection of the product we’ve put on the field, the atmosphere we’ve created at the stadium, and the community’s outstanding support of our organization. Our fans show up and are enthusiastic. We were awarded the game so soon after hosting it last time because they earned it.”

The Blue Sox finished first in the NECBL in attendance for the second consecutive season and ranked ninth among all summer collegiate teams, outdrawing 204 affiliated minor-league and independent teams.

“Guys who play in this All-Star Game are guys you see on TV in a few years,” Golden noted. “Stephen Strasburg, Trey Mancini, Joe Nathan, Andre Ethier — it’s those kinds of guys. So it’s a tremendous opportunity for people who are passionate about the game to see what’s coming next.”

The event will be sponsored by Trinity Health Of New England and Mercy Medical Center.

“Our community has a very deep connection to baseball, to the Blue Sox, and to Western Massachusetts,” said Greater Holyoke Chamber of Commerce President Kathleen Anderson. “There’s a lot of civic pride here in Holyoke, so for the Blue Sox to deliver this type of event for the city is great for our area, and the economic impact it will have is significant.”