For those unfamiliar with the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball, playoff spots are awarded to the winners of the first and second halves of the season in each division. The first half of the season ends on July 5 and, as of Sunday, the Skeeters were in second place in the Freedom Division, just 1.5 games behind the Lancaster Barnstormers. It just so happens that we are in the middle of a seven-game series with the Barnstormers. The winner of the series is likely to win the first playoff spot and home field advantage in the playoffs.
According to the Skeeters, the following scenarios exist for the Skeeters to clinch a first-half postseason berth:
· If the Skeeters win five of the seven games, the Skeeters would head to York for their final series of the first half (three games) with a magic number of two.
· If the Skeeters win six or more of the seven games, the Skeeters clinch the first-half title this week.
· If Lancaster wins five or more of the seven games, they clinch the first half.
· If Lancaster wins four of the seven, they will head home for four games vs. the Road Warriors with a magic number of one.
· If the Skeeters win four of the seven games, the Skeeters would win the first half under the following combinations the next week:
· Skeeters 3-0 vs. York; Lancaster 3-1 or worse against the Road Warriors.
· Skeeters 2-1 vs. York; Lancaster 2-2 or worse against the Road Warriors.
· Skeeters 1-2 vs. York, Lancaster 0-4 against the Road Warriors.
You may not think a playoff run like this would be a big deal, but consider this: Major League teams have purchased the contracts of seven Skeeters so far this year with an eighth going to an international team. That number is high for an entire season and we’re still in the first half! By contrast, the Barnstormers have lost only a single player to the Big Leagues. That’s a real testament to the level of play under first-year manager Pete Incaviglia, who has kept his promise of providing exciting, hard-driving, old school baseball.
Having talked with many Skeeters players over the years, I can tell you that there is a distinct home field advantage here. The players feed off the enthusiasm of the crowd. We need everyone we can get to Constellation Field this week to cheer on our Skeeters. That means you, too!
If fun, exciting playoff baseball isn’t enough motivation to come to the ballpark this week and weekend, consider these promotions. Kids get in free on Wednesday. There are $2 beers and sodas for Thirsty Thursday, Friday features a post-game concert by the Spazmatics as well as a salute to women veterans.
Saturday is Parrothead Night, featuring a very colorful team jersey giveaway and a post-game concert by Jerry Diaz and Hanna’s Reef. Fans can also enjoy a fireworks show after the game. Sunday is Sunday Funday, which includes catch on the field, post-game running the bases and a team autograph session.
The Spazmatics are an incredibly entertaining ’80s cover band. Dressed as nerds, they are as fun to watch as they are to listen to. I’ve seen them several times and have never been let down. These guys are great! As for Jerry Diaz and Hanna’s Reef, I’ve not heard them before, but from what I understand they do a great mix of original music and covers of popular beach music (think Jimmy Buffet, Beach Boys, Eagles, etc.). This is sure to be a really fun evening.
Each game at Constellation Field is filled with fun activities, including the new 50/50 raffle, between-innings games and contests, and all kinds of promotions and special events. Young children are invited to play on the playground or get soaked on the splash pad. Of course you’ll want to catch all the shenanigans of the mascot Swatson, or even take your picture with him. He is, after all, the best mascot in the Atlantic League!
All of this comes at a very affordable price. Grassland seats start at $9 and field box seats are just $15. That’s much less than you’ll spend to park at an Astros game, let alone buy a ticket.
Another thing you can do to support the Skeeters is to vote for your favorite players on the Atlantic League All-Star Ballot (www.atlanticleague.com/allstarvoting). Voting ends June 30, so get online and vote early and often for your Skeeters!
Here’s a deal for you, my faithful readers. The first person that finds me at Constellation Field during this home stand against the Lancaster Barnstormers and tells me they came to the game because they read this column, I will give them vouchers for two free tickets!
Celebrate 40 years with the Star
This year marks the 40th anniversary of the Fort Bend Star. We’re holding a party and you’re invited! Mark your calendar for Saturday, Aug. 18, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and plan to be at the Houston Museum of Natural Science at Sugar Land. This will be a family-friendly event and children are very welcome to attend.
This is going to be fun! There will be free admission to the museum for the first 200 guests and discounted admission after that. There will be vendor booths, food trucks, bounce houses, gifts, and more. So far we have food trucks lined up from Il Primo Pizza, That’s My Dog (gourmet hot dogs), and That’s Ice (shaved Italian ice).
At this time we are still taking applications for vendor booths, but don’t wait, space is going quickly! Contact our advertising department at 281-690-4200 for more information. The event is still in the planning stages, so be sure to read the Fort Bend Star for more details as the day draws closer.
Best of Bev’s Burner
I never had the pleasure of meeting Bev Carter, the founder and first publisher of the Fort Bend Star. She passed away in 2013, leaving behind quite a legacy. I want to explore that legacy as we prepare for our 40th anniversary edition. She used to have a wildly popular column called Bev’s Burner. I’d like to highlight some of those columns and I’m asking our longtime readers to email me at email@example.com with notable columns or topics that stand out for a particular reason. Please put “Bev’s Burner” in the subject line.