From sports cards and autographs to a free car cling, the Winnipeg Goldeyes are loading the bases to host the 2014 American Association all-star game.
On Wednesday the club unveiled the full event schedule for the two-day celebration, which will kick off with a fan party and skills competition on July 28. The game, which is set for 7 p.m. on July 29, will pit the best players from the American Association's six northern teams -- the Goldeyes, Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks, Gary-SouthShore RailCats, St. Paul Saints, Sioux City Explorers and Sioux Falls Canaries -- against the best from the southern half of the league. The four teams in the Can-Am League will also send players.
The party starts on July 28 at 3 p.m., when Goldeyes will host a sports card show, autograph session and fan party at Shaw Park. The party will run until the skills competition takes over the field. There, players will compete in events such as of fastest runner, outfield throwing accuracy and home run derby. The first 2,500 fans in the gate will receive a free baseball.
After the skills competition and all-star game, Shaw Park will host post-game parties where fans can meet and greet athletes and catch some entertainment.
The big day is set for July 29, which will open with a luncheon featuring a keynote speech from baseball Hall of Famer Ferguson Jenkins. It will continue with an afternoon skills camp for kids led by Goldeyes players, before the first pitch flies at the all-star game at 7 p.m. Every fan who turns out to the battle of the American Association's best will receive a free Goldeyes car cling and a commemorative program.