The Victoria HarbourCats, in their first season of existence, will host the 2013 West Coast League baseball all-star game. The game, which will take place either July 22 or 23, is expected to attract more than 20 Major League Baseball scouts to Royal Athletic Park.
A total of 57 WCL players were selected in the 2012 Major League draft and 45 in 2011 out of the league that features top NCAA U.S. collegiate players in wood-bat summer ball.
We would have preferred to wait a couple of years [to host the all-star game] but you take it when it comes, said HarbourCats owner John McLean.
Its pretty exciting for an expansion team. This will put the stamp on the team within the community and show that were here to stay.
McLean said two other WCL teams also vied for the 2013 all-star game but wouldnt divulge which ones.
A lot of it [why Victoria was chosen for the all-star game] is because of the size of the city, said McLean, noting that the B.C. capital becomes the largest market in the 11-team WCL, which also welcomes another expansion team for 2013 in Medford, Oregon.
McLean attended the 2012 WCL all-star game hosted by the Walla Walla Sweets in southeastern Washington and came away impressed because the 2,778-capacity Borleske Stadium was nearly full.
I saw quality play in last seasons all-star game and 20 to 30 Major League scouts in attendance, he said.
Victoria mayor Dean Fortin was at todays announcement.
This is an opportunity to show off Victoria to others in North America and to scouts, said Fortin, who is an avid baseball fan.
Im looking forward to hanging out at the park next summer with my family and asking: Hey, did he [home-run hitting batter] break that window on Caledonia Street?
WCL president Ken Wilson, in a release labelled Victoria: An easy choice, said victoria is now the largest market city in the league, a city with a rich baseball tradition, a great fan base and a strong minor baseball and softball community.
Meanwhile, the HarbourCats announced that tickets go on sale Monday at 10 a.m. at the clubs new offices across from RAP at 103-1814 Vancouver St. There are 27 home dates with season tickets priced between $225 and $325 and include the all-star game. Ten-game flex packs are between $79 and $99.
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