For the first time in Southern League history, its all-star game was rained out. Rain fell consistently throughout the day Tuesday but fans, team officials and representatives from the league held out hope that the league’s showcase event would be played in a stadium considered one of the best in the country in minor league baseball.
But at 6:30 p.m. with the tarp still on the field and the intensity of the rain picking up, the 41st edition of the Southern League All-Star Game was called. The decision was made by the league five minutes before the scheduled first pitch.
“This the first one that hasn’t even started or has gotten off to a late start,” Southern League President Lori Webb said.
She felt bad for the fans and the franchise that Mother Nature prevented those in attendance from watching the Major League stars of tomorrow showcase their skills.
“It’s very tough,” Webb said. “We worked closely with the staff here a few months before this event. We planned, we worried and we stressed and we thought we had everything perfect. For this to happen tonight, it’s just heartbreaking.”
Fans hung around after the game to get autographs from the players and fireworks were shot off about an hour after the game was called.
It wasn’t exactly the night the team hoped for but it was better than nothing. The Blue Wahoos, hosting the all-star game for the first time in the six-year history of the franchise, won the first half of the South Division championship and team president Jonathan Griffith is hoping the baseball gods will make up for the washout come September.
“We got all our home games in (during the first half) and have had over 150,000 come to our games already. We can’t complain about that part of it,” Griffith said. “This is just a bump in the road. I’d say from this bump we should be winning the championship this year.”