The Golden Baseball League and the Northern League of Professional Baseball announced Tuesday, at the Baseball Winter Meetings in Indianapolis, that the leagues have agreed on a two year partnership where they will play their All-Star game against each other this season and next.
This annual clash will pit some of the finest all-stars from teams in Canada and the U.S. made up of players from at least seven countries. The 2010 game will be played on Wednesday, July 14th in Tucson, Arizona as the Tucson Toros host the game at the historic 11,000 seat Hi Corbett Stadium. The 2011 game will be played in Zion, Illinois hosted by the Lake County Fielders in the state of the art ballpark currently under construction.
The GBL and Northern League are two of the most successful and heavily scouted independent leagues in the country and together had over 30 of their players from 2009 acquired by major league organizations. The 20-man rosters will be comprised of players from the ten GBL teams in California, Arizona, Hawaii, and western Canada versus players from the eight Northern League teams in Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, North Dakota, and Manitoba, Canada.
"This will be exciting for our players and fans and also for major league organizations focused on finding the best talent available in the independent minor leagues," said Golden Baseball League Commissioner Kevin Outcalt. "The Northern League has long been the finest independent professional baseball league and we are looking forward to hosting their top players in Tucson this summer and then sending our best to the Chicago area for the rematch the following season."
Although these two leagues, of the seven independent minor leagues in the nation, total less than 25% of all independent teams they produced five of the top ten Baseball America Top Indy Prospects in 2009 including the first three spots, and also placed eight players on the Baseball America First and Second All Independent Teams. In addition the Baseball America Independent League Player of the Year has come from one of these two leagues 7 of the 13 years the award has been in existence including two of the last three.
"This game will be the premier showcase for independent minor league talent and will be a treat for our fans," said Clark Griffith, Commissioner of the Northern League. "These will be fantastic events for the cities of Tucson and Zion and we are thrilled that we have worked out such a great partnership with the Golden League."
Jay S. Zucker, Toros Owner states: "This is a unique opportunity for Tucson to showcase our Community to baseball fans throughout the US and Canada. The Tucson Toros are proud to bring event to southern Arizona."
The game will be streaming live on the internet, broadcasted live on Toros Flagship radio station and most stations throughout the states and Canada that host teams represented in this event.
2010 Northern League/Golden Baseball League All-Star Game
Location: Hi Corbett Field, Tucson, Arizona
Monday July 12: Fan Fest, Exhibitions and home run derby.
Tuesday July 13: Player Banquet and MLB All-Star Viewing Party
Wednesday July 14: All-Star Game—7:00 p.m.