Wilmington, DE- On December 7, 1787 the state of Delaware forged its identity by becoming the first state to ratify the constitution of the United States of America. It was the first step down a long path of trendsetting that has helped set Delaware apart from its peers. The Wilmington Blue Rocks will continue that tradition of trying new things by becoming the first Minor League baseball club to host a Home Run Derby where players bat from the outfield and try to hit the ball into the stands behind where home plate normally resides. That is the highlight of the Hitting Challenge that will open the California League/Carolina League All-Star Game festivities presented by Bank of America at Frawley Stadium on Monday, June 16.
The hitting challenge will feature some of the best young prospects in baseball from both the Carolina League and California League competing in two events. First there will be a hitting contest featuring targets that players will have to hit in order to earn points. Then there will be a home run derby. Fans will have the opportunity to catch any dingers off of these sluggers' bats as the Blue Rocks will flip the field at Frawley Stadium. A new batting cage will be installed in center field and derby contestants will be awarded homeruns by hitting balls into the seating area.
"There is nothing more exciting than going to a baseball game and catching a home run," said Blue Rocks general manager Chris Kemple. "Now when you add the spectacle of an event like this, we as a front office wanted to come up with a way for people to get that chance to take home a souvenir. Flipping the field will also bring a unique view of the hitting challenge at Frawley Stadium. With the ball coming toward the stands rather than traveling away from them it will be a whole new perspective for Blue Rocks fans, and one we think everybody will enjoy."
The Blue Rocks have partnered with Bank of America on the event, a relationship that Kemple says has benefited the community significantly.
"We feel incredibly fortunate to be working with Bank of America on this event," Kemple said. "Bank of America shares many of the same community-minded priorities that we pride ourselves in as an organization. They represent exactly what we are looking for in a corporate partner.
"We are pleased to continue our support of the Blue Rocks and are excited to partner on an event that will connect Delawareans and their families to America's pastime and a day of fun," said Chip Rossi, Delaware president, Bank of America.
Tickets for the 2014 Hitting Challenge are just $8 while All-Star Game tickets (June 17) are only $15. Individual tickets for both events go on sale March 1, but they can be had immediately by purchasing a Blue Rocks Game Plan. For more information call 302-888-BLUE or visit bluerocks.com.
Blue Rocks Baseball = AffordaFUNability!
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.