The Washington Wild Things unveiled plans Thursday to be the host of the 2013 Frontier League All-Star Game at Consol Energy Park, a three-day event July 15-17 they hope will set the standard for the league.
The game will pit the East against the West all-stars from 13 teams at 7:05 p.m. July 17. A home run derby will take place at 6:05 p.m. July 16, followed by a fast-pitch softball game between the all-stars and Akron Racers, a pro softball team.
The Wild Things were the host of the event in 2005, but have elaborate plans to top that, said owner Stuart Williams -- from golf outings, to a team bowling event, to an array of food and drink at luncheons and dinners.
"We're trying to do things over the top," Williams said. "It's going to be the gold standard."
The Wild Things spent the past year bidding to be the host, and learned they were a unanimous selection by the league's board of directors at a meeting in December.
"It was a tough battle this year, but the Washington Wild Things won out and they will be hosting the 2013 Frontier League All Star Game," said league commissioner Bill Lee.
"What better morning to start thinking about the middle of July and nice sunny weather, 85, 90 degrees on a beautiful night sitting out at the ballpark at Consol Energy Field."
The game, said league officials, has sold out every year since 1999. The Normal (Ill.) CornBelters were the host last season.
Pitcher Gary Lee represented the Wild Things, and reported what a good time it was to his teammates, said outfielder Andrew Heck, a North Hills graduate.
"It's even more of an incentive for me to make the team," said Heck, an outfielder who hit .310 last season.
Season ticket holder Allan Zimmerman said the 2005 game was a great event and looks forward to this one.
"This one they're telling me will be so much better than back then," Zimmerman said. "It's a great time. The players put out so much and it shows. They're all chasing the big dream."
Williams said he expects the event will sell out and showcase the community.
"Our goal is to make certain that we become the standard by which all future all-star games in the Frontier League are measured," said Williams. "When [people ask] 'Was it as good as it was in Washington?' we promise it will be, 'Nice effort, but no.' "
Jenn Menendez: firstname.lastname@example.org, 412-263-1959 and Twitter @JennMenendez.