MELBOURNE, 30 July - The Victorian Minister for Sport and Recreation, the Hon Damian Drum, has announced today that Melbourne will host the 2014 Australian Baseball League All-Star Game for the third consecutive year at Melbourne Ballpark on Wednesday, 17 December at 7:30pm.
The ABL All-Star game is expected to feature as many as a dozen current and former Major Leaguers as well as some of the best prospects from world famous organisations like the New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox, New York Mets and Detroit Tigers.
The event will also mark the first game the country's national baseball team, the Southern Thunder, has played on home soil since their historic upset of MLB's Arizona Diamondbacks and near-victory against the Los Angeles Dodgers, at the 2014 MLB Opening Series last April at the SCG.
The Southern Thunder, comprised of the Australian baseball league's best home-grown talent, will take on the league's top performing international import players in a single, nine-inning exhibition game.
Minister Drum reaffirmed Sport Recreation Victoria's continued support of the event and growing the game of baseball in the state.
"The Victorian Government is proud to have played its part over the years by providing funding for improvements at Melbourne Ballpark," Minister Drum said. "The field is now an appropriate venue for this high-level competition - and one that Victorians can be proud of."
Renovations included a new playing surface, luxury corporate facilities, improvements to the dugouts and players' clubhouses and expanded spectator seating.
"We are grateful for the Victorian Government's ongoing efforts in growing baseball in the state," said Ben Foster, General Manager of the ABL. "The refurbished Melbourne Ballpark is arguably Australia's best baseball facility and the perfect setting to host one of our sport's biggest events.
The 2014 ABL All-Star game is expected to be televised nationally in Australia and internationally to over 25 Asian-Pacific countries including Japan, Korea and Taiwan, where baseball is the national sport.
Early bird general admission tickets are available now for $10 if purchased before 1 September by visiting www.theabl.com.au/asg14 or by calling (03) 8360 9371.