The Stars will finally shine at Holman Stadium
NASHUA – Finally, the day has arrived.
And all indications are tonight’s Futures Collegiate League All-Star Game coupled with the 80th Birthday Celebration of Holman Stadium should be worth the wait.
Postponed from Tuesday thanks to the severe thunderstorm threat that the area was under, the event will take place without some of the all-day frills that were planned. It will be mainly all baseball, save for the ceremonies and brief speeches prior to the start of the game, the appearance of the ever popular Monkey Boy, some kids activities on the concourse, and a post-game fireworks show. There will be video displays of athletes who have played at Holman and eras will be recognized.
Weather is not expected to be an issue, one of the reasons organizers acted quickly on Monday to move the event. Gates open at noon and in a little over an hour after the annual FCBL Scout Day will be held, when players work out for Major League scouts.
Meanwhile, it will be the first FCBL All-Star Game at Holman Stadium since the league’s inaugural All-Star event in 2012.
“I’m looking forward to the game being here,” Nashua manager B.J. Neverett said. “There will be more people here (than in 2012). It should be closer to 2,500 in-house. It’s great, it’s great for the city.”
The way the teams were divided honors the history of Holman and the first professional baseball team to play here, the Nashua Dodgers of the late 1940s, which was also the first racially integrated pro baseball team of the modern era. One team will be in Dodger white, as the “Dodgers”, and wear the number of 39, the late Roy Campanella’s number. The other will be “Nashua”, wearing the Dodger road jerseys with the number 36 of Don Newcombe. Players will wear their individual numbers on their sleeves. The Silver Knights have seven players selected: Pitchers Luke Dawson, Drew Farkas and Brandon Dufault, and position players Cody Morissette (shortstop), Ryan Berardino (first base), Jake Lebel (DH) and Jeff Costello (outfield).
“There’s no question, those are the most consistent players we’ve had,” Neverett said. “We ended up with seven guys, that’s pretty darn good. I’m happy with the selection.”
The teams were divided with an interesting twist. For the most part, Worcester, Pittsfield and Nashua position players are on the home Dodgers with pitchers from Martha’s Vineyard, Brockton, Bristol and North Shore.
Likewise, pitchers from Nashua, Worcester and Pittsfield will be on the “Nashua” side, with position players from the other four teams. “We thought it would be interesting that way,” Neverett said.
The last time the Scout Day was at Holman was obviously prior to that 2012 All-Star Game. What’s significant about it is the first (and only current) FCBL player to make the Majors, New York Mets pitcher Tyler Bachelder, worked out at that 2012 event.
“He was in the left field bullpen at Holman Stadium,” Hall said. “He threw at that scout day.”
The home run derby will take place at 5:30 with as many as four FCBL players competing – Nashua’s Lebel,
Worcester’s Mke Dellicarri, North Shore’s Sal Frelick, and Bristol’s Patrick Winkel. Winkel may be a question mark, though, due to orientation at the University of Connecticut. There was talk Martha’s Vineyard’s Eric Foggo might also compete, but that wasn’t definite.
“The home run derby should be really interesting,” Neverett said, who was wondering if Foggo would compete. “(Foggo) hits moon shots. I saw him take (batting practice) down there and he hits it over the trees (out to MV’s left field). I went out looking for home run balls and I was finding them on the football field across the street.”
Here is the revised schedule for Wednesday’s FCBL All-Star Game/Holman Stadium 80th Birthday Celebration
12 p.m.– Gates open.
1 p.m. – Players report, dress, scout day activities begin.
5:30 p.m. – Futures League Home Run Derby (four contestants)
6-8 p.m.: Kids activities on the concourse.
6:15 p.m. (approximate) Opening ceremonies involving local and regional officials addressing the crowd.
6:45 p.m. – Player intros on the field, with first pitch to follow at about 7.
7-10 p.m. Silent auction of game worn uniforms on the concourse.
Post game – Fireworks show scheduled.