All-Star FanFest to deliver memories
Tickets available for exhibit leading up to Midsummer Classic
SAN FRANCISCO -- When it comes to All-Star week, it's exciting to imagine a game between baseball's best or a derby filled with miles of home runs, but what fans might be forgetting could easily be the All-Star event that will mean most -- the DHL All-Star FanFest.Tickets to the State Farm Home Run Derby on July 9 and the All-Star Game on July 10 are long gone, but it's not too late to create an All-Star memory. The DHL All-Star FanFest will be held from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. PT on Friday through Monday and 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on All-Star Tuesday at San Francisco's Moscone Center West.
FanFest will sport an interactive baseball theme park, which means that instead of watching the action from a crowded park, fans will be a part of it. Fans who attend will be treated to interactive batting and pitching cages, clinics given by Major League Baseball's best, historical exhibits and the chance to meet some of the game's legends.Everything at FanFest is Major League quality. Forget the usual clunky, quarter-eating cages. At FanFest, there will be video batting and pitching cages where fans can test their swing against life-size images of Roger Clemens, Greg Maddux and Matt Morris, and pit their fastball against baseball's best sluggers. A full-sized infield diamond will serve as a classroom for pitching, hitting, fielding and base running clinics given by Major League players, coaches, managers and umpires. A station where fans can practice calling play-by-play into a broadcaster's microphone will be set up, and more competitive fans can enjoy the "home run derby" and "steal home challenge" simulations among other FanFest features. Fans will also have the chance to get autographs from legends such as Bob Feller, Rollie Fingers, Fergie Jenkins, Tommy John, Harmon Killebrew, Jim Leyland, Phil Niekro and Gaylord Perry. The FanFest will be capped off from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. PT on All-Star Tuesday with a schedule that includes everything from Del Monte Frisbee Dog Shows to baseball skills clinics with Alex Rodriguez and Cal Ripken. About 100,000 tickets have already been sold, but there are still individual and family pack tickets available at www.allstargame.com, 1-888-FanFest, and the Giants Box Office. Ticket Prices are $22 for adults and $17 for children 12-and-under, senior citizens and military personnel. Children under 2 are free. FanFest will also provide a chance for fans to take home a piece of baseball history at daily auctions leading up to the All-Star Game. The marquee item that will be auctioned off last is a pair of lineup cards from the first All-Star Game held on July 6, 1933, at Chicago's Comiskey Park (estimated worth is $50,000). The lineup cards are scribbled with the names of baseball greats including former Giant Bill Terry and the likes of Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig and Lefty Gomez.
Other key items up for bid will be Willie Mays' 1958 San Francisco Giants home jersey ($30,000-$40,000), a signed Ted Williams game bat from his final season in 1960 ($25,000-$35,000), Willie McCovey's Giants road jersey ($10,000-$15,000), a signed baseball that Babe Ruth hit for his 16th home run of the 1927 season ($10,000-$15,000) and the personal collection of Max Patkin, known to baseball fans across the nation as "The Clown Prince of Baseball."For fans who want to take home a piece of baseball history, but aren't ready to dip into their kids' college tuition savings, there will be less pricey items auctioned off at silent auctions throughout the FanFest. "FanFest is a great complement to the All-Star Game itself, because needless to say, not everyone can go to the game or the Home Run Derby," said David Hunt, president of Hunt Auctions.
Becky Regan is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.