|53rd Annual All-Star Event Comes to Bradenton for the First Time
Bradenton, Fla. – The Bradenton Marauders today announced that the 2014 Florida State League All-Star Game will be played at historic McKechnie Field next June. Bradenton, in its fourth season in the FSL, will be hosting its first All-Star Game. The 53rd annual game will pit the top players in the FSL South against the best of the FSL North.
“The Marauders are thrilled to host the FSL All-Star Game in Bradenton,” Pittsburgh Pirates Senior Director of Florida Operations Trevor Gooby said. “Hosting this signature event will provide us with the opportunity to showcase the new look of historic McKechnie Field and to show the League and all of its teams’ fans that Bradenton is a great baseball town and a wonderful community.” “We also are excited to give our great fans the opportunity to watch the League’s best players square off against one another.”
McKechnie Field has been hosting baseball in Bradenton for 90 seasons. It is the oldest Spring Training ballpark in Major League Baseball. During this past off-season, the historic ballpark received a $10.5 million renovation to add new and upgraded fan amenities. Highlights of the project include the addition of an outfield boardwalk with new bleacher seats, a full-service bar and group spaces, expanded concessions facilities, additional restrooms and a large fan plaza inside the main gates.
The Florida State League was formed in 1919. It presently includes 12 teams split into two six team divisions. The regular season is 140 games split into two 70 game halves. The champion at the end of each half qualifies for the playoffs. The All-Star Game is played at the end of the first half.
The 2013 All-Star Game was played Saturday at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium in Dunedin. Marauders shortstop Alen Hanson was named MVP of the FSL South’s 8-1 win. A Marauder has taken MVP honors in two of the last three seasons, with former Marauder Aaron Baker winning the award in 2011.