MYRTLE BEACH | The Pelicans’ front-office staff has already done the majority of the work necessary to prepare for this month’s California-Carolina League All-Star Game.
But that doesn’t mean it’s all smooth sailing for the team in the final three weeks before the festivities begin. Final ballots for all-star voting are due Friday, and the teams will be released within approximately a week of that date.
“The biggest lifting is waiting for the rosters to come out,” Pelicans General Manager Scott Brown said. “Because then you have your logistics of getting your players from the West Coast to the East Coast. That’s probably the biggest anticipated thing.”
But that’s not the only item on the agenda before the June 22 game.
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No. 2 on the list is the team’s attempt to pack BB&T Coastal Field like it did two years ago when the game was in Myrtle Beach. That year, the complement of players and atmosphere led to a venue-tying record of 6,599 fans in attendance.
In order to achieve a similar number this time, the Pelicans will be spreading the word as much as they can. That includes TV, radio and print ads, not to mention any word-of-mouth campaigns.
“We need to continue to beat the drum about what a great event this is,” Brown said. “We’ve definitely devoted a portion of our media buys and schedules to the All-Star Game.”
The team finalized plans for the two-day event last week.
It will begin the night before the game, when the team will have an All-Star Gala at House of Blues in North Myrtle Beach. The 7 p.m. start time will include music, food and drinks, as well as chances to rub elbows with the players from each team.
The next day, gates at BB&T will open at 3 p.m. in order to accommodate another autograph session, which will include special guests and Pelicans ownership group members Jerome Bettis and Eddie George, and a home run derby. Myrtle Beach has signed a trio of relatively well-known performers – Mad Chad, Dave the Horn Guy and Amazing Christopher – to show off their talents during each half-inning break during the game.
The wild card may be the number of Pelicans players on the team. Although the recent promotion of Julio Teharan – the Braves’ organization’s top pitching prospect – and others such as pitchers Randall Delgado and Matt Crim give the team some strong options for the game, simply how many Pelicans make the roster won’t be known for at least another week.
The team’s record could influence voters from around the Carolina League to go another direction.
Regardless, the greatest draw for the all-star game will likely be the players who are eventually chosen to take the field.
“You’re never going to have a greater concentration of future Major Leaguers in this ballpark than you have for an All-Star game,” Brown said. “That’s the kind of thing you want to get around to the baseball fans.”
What | California-Carolina League All-Star Game
When | 7:30 p.m. June 22
Where | BB&T Coastal Field
Tickets| Visit the field box office or call 1-877-918-TIXX or 843-918-6000