Chelmsford, MA: With the season kicking off today, the Futures Collegiate Baseball League is excited to be entering its third season of operation. The league will once again feature nine franchises including the Martha's Vineyard Sharks, Brockton Rox, North Shore Navigators (Lynn, MA), Nashua Silver Knights, Seacoast Mavericks (Portsmouth, NH), Old Orchard Beach Raging Tide, Wachusett Dirt Dawgs (Leominster, MA), Pittsfield Suns, and the Torrington Titans.
Several Futures League franchises are run by professional baseball organizations. The Nashua Silver Knights are owned and operated by the Lowell Spinners (Class A affiliate of the Boston Red Sox), the Pittsfield Suns are owned and operated by the Goldklang Group which owns and operates four professional franchises including the Charleston River Dogs (Class A affiliate of the New York Yankees), Hudson Valley Renegades (Class A affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays), Ft. Myers Miracle (Class A affiliate of Minnesota Twins) and St. Paul Saints (Independent-American Association), and the North Shore Navigators are owned by Salvi Sports Enterprises which also owns the Gary South Shore Rail Cats (Independent-American Association) and Schaumburg Boomers (Independent- Frontier League). The FCBL also boasts some of the best college summer baseball facilities in the country. Of the nine franchises in the league, six have previously been home to a professional baseball club.
On the field, FCBL coaching staffs are filled with individuals possessing decades of professional playing and coaching experience. Among them are Jud Thigpen who manages Brockton (Colorado Rockies), Jon Cahill who manages North Shore (LA Angels), Chris Torres who manages Old Orchard Beach (Detroit Tigers), Quentin Davis who's the Bench Coach (Atlanta Braves) for Old Orchard Beach, Dave Adam who manages Seacoast (Seattle Mariners/Tampa Bay Rays), J.P. Pyne who manages Nashua (Toronto Blue Jays) and Misha Dworken who manages Torrington (Houston Astros). Team rosters include some of the best college baseball talent from across the country. This season, top baseball conferences such as the SEC, ACC, Big East, WCC, and Mountain West, will be represented in the FCBL along with some of the top Division II and III programs in the nation.
While the league has achieved great success in drawing top talent from coast to coast, the FCBL prides itself on maintaining a strong New England foundation. Each team must hold a minimum roster of 26, of which 13 players must be from New England or a New England school. This season, the league is maintaining a 54-game regular season schedule. "As a former New England college player myself, I feel strongly about taking care of the New England player." Said FCBL Commissioner, Chris Hall. "We have some great talent here and it needs to be showcased in a professional environment. We feel the mix of players from New England and across the country creates a competitive atmosphere for our fan base."
The league’s marquee event, the 2013 FCBL All-Star Game, will be played on Thursday, July 25 at Wahconah Park in Pittsfield, MA home of the FCBL Pittsfield Suns. The All-Star Game will start at 7:05. "We had a very successful inaugural All-Star Game last year in Nashua, and are looking forward to the show that will be put on by the Pittsfield Suns this year" stated Hall.
Coinciding with the league’s mission to provide a family friendly, fun, and affordable experience for fans, FCBL teams will continue to offer an extensive list of promotional events throughout the season. Among a wide variety of promotions, two-time defending league champion the Nashua Silver Knights will be bringing in former Boston Celtic, and fan-favorite Brian Scalabrine to work at Holman Stadium on July 11th. The Pittsfield Suns will be hosting "Put our money where your mouth is" on July 22. The Suns will place money vouchers randomly in hot dogs throughout the night. The Seacoast Mavericks, who have relocated their franchise from Rochester, NH to Leary Field in downtown Portsmouth, NH, are featuring a Family Night Package for all home games this summer. For only $20, a family of 4 receives admission to Leary Field, 4 hot dogs, and 4 sodas. The North Shore Navigators will be featuring fireworks nights after all Friday night home games, and the Martha’s Vineyard Sharks have completely revamped their field for the 2013 season. This year, Vineyard Baseball Park will feature stadium lights and professional stadium seating which will make for a much more comfortable and fan-friendly atmosphere. This off-season the Old Orchard Beach Raging Tide has announced an exciting season-ticket partnership with the Seacoast Mavericks. Fans that purchase season tickets for either team will be granted admission into the other team’s stadium for free all-summer long!
The league office is also proud to announce the addition of Taralynn Asack and Michael Emond to the league staff. Taralynn and Michael will be producing a daily video segment for the league website, www.thefuturesleague.com called “Around the Bases” in which they will be interviewing players, coaches, and front office members as well as highlighting the unique aspects of the FCBL.
League staff members and team management have been working tirelessly around the clock this off-season in an effort to bring the baseball fans of New England the most competitive and entertaining summer baseball experience at an affordable price. Visit the FCBL online network at www.thefuturesleague.com to get more information about the franchise nearest you, how to get tickets to games, and about all the exciting things happening on FCBL baseball diamonds this summer.