River City Rascals Host Frontier League All-Star Festivities

By Lyons, Joe | St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO), July 10, 2018 | Go to article overview

River City Rascals Host Frontier League All-Star Festivities


Lyons, Joe, St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)


The last time the River City Rascals hosted the Frontier League All-Star game, in 2004, Steve Brook was passed over.

"I thought I was going to make it; I was 5-0 and had an ERA around 2.00," the current Rascals manager recalled Monday. "When I wasn't named, I headed home to spend a couple of days back in Chicago. Back then, other than the game, there weren't as many activities surrounding it."

But that has changed.

The Rascals, who are celebrating their 20th anniversary this season, will host this year's All-Star game at CarShield Field in O'Fallon, Mo., Wednesday at 7 p.m. But that's just one of many activities planned as players, executives, fans and coaches celebrate the 12-team independent league's midsummer event.

"Over the years, the All-Star game has become a big deal and I know people throughout our organization have been working extremely hard to make sure we put on a first-class event for the league and its fans," Brook said. "There's a dinner on Monday, a golf outing and winery tour on Tuesday before the Home Run Derby that night and the Hall of Fame announcements before the game on Wednesday.

"It'll be a busy couple of days, but hopefully with seven of our players involved we can keep them in the baseball mindset and hopefully keep it rolling into the second half of the season."

Gates will open Wednesday at 6 p.m., with a festival-like atmosphere that will include food trucks, inflatables, a rock-climbing wall, a balloon artist and BJC Fun at the Fair interactive exhibit.

Tuesday's Home Run Derby will feature Frontier League sluggers -- including River City's Paul Kronenfeld and Trae Santos from the Gateway Grizzlies -- and former Cardinals Ray Lankford, Rick Ankiel, Mark Whiten and Kerry Robinson. Jim Edmonds was also slated to take part but because of an injury will be limited to signing pregame autographs for fans who purchase VIP passes and serving as an honorary on-field emcee.

"I'll be interested to see how the Cardinals do," said Brook, who is in his ninth season as manager and 14th with River City. He will serve as a coach Wednesday after appearing previously in two All-Star Games as a player, two more as a manager and one more as a pitching coach.

For the first time, the Frontier League has adopted a unique All-Star format, pitting a team of experienced players from the league against a rookie squad made up of first- and second-year players.

Brook and River City coaches Alex Ferguson, Dave Garcia and Josh Lundy will assist manager Gregg Langbehn of the East Division-leading Washington Wild Things for Rookies. …

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