Northern, Golden to partner on all-star games
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December 8, 2009 - LOVES PARK, Ill. – Last season, the Rockford RiverHawks’ all-star players had to travel no further than their own clubhouse. In 2010, they’ll make a cross-country trip.

The Northern League and the Golden League announced Tuesday at the baseball winter meetings in Indianapolis that the two independent circuits have agreed to a mutual all-star game each of the next two seasons. The Golden League’s Tuscon Toros will host the 2010 game on July 14 at historic Hi Corbett Field. The 2011 game will be hosted by the Lake County Fielders, a Northern League expansion team whose stadium in Zion is scheduled to open in the spring.

The RiverHawks hosted a two-day event for the Frontier League All-Star Game festivities in July. They announced in August that they would move to the Northern League for the 2010 season.

The 20-man all-star rosters will be comprised of players from the ten GBL teams in California, Arizona, Hawaii, and western Canada versus players from the eight Northern League teams in Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, North Dakota, and Manitoba, Canada.

"This game will be the premier showcase for independent minor league talent and will be a treat for our fans," said Clark Griffith, commissioner of the Northern League. "These will be fantastic events for the cities of Tucson and Zion and we are thrilled that we have worked out such a great partnership with the Golden League."

The GBL and NoL are two of the most successful and heavily scouted independent leagues in the country and combined had more than 30 of their players acquired by major league organizations in 2009. The two leagues combined for five of Baseball America magazine’s Top 10 Independent League Prospects of 2009.

"This will be exciting for our players and fans and also for major league organizations focused on finding the best talent available in the independent minor leagues," Golden Baseball League commissioner Kevin Outcalt said. "The Northern League has long been the finest independent professional baseball league and we are looking forward to hosting their top players in Tucson this summer and then sending our best to the Chicago area for the rematch the following season."

The RiverHawks are members of the Northern League, an eight-team independent professional baseball league that will play its 18th season in 2010. The RiverHawks’ ninth season begins at 7:05 p.m. May 20 against the Schaumburg Flyers at Road Ranger Stadium. Advertising and ticket information is available by calling (815) 885-2255. Games are broadcast live on ESPN 1380 (WTJK-AM) and the internet. Fans can also visit the RiverHawks online at www.rockfordriverhawks.com.


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