South Jersey Baseball:
Thursday, July 7, 2005
By Denny Watson
The Atlantic City Surf are readying Sandcastle Stadium to play host to the 2005 North Fork Bank Atlantic League All Star Game to be played on July 13, 2005.
“We want our stadium to shine on that night,’’ said Mario Perrucci, general manager of the Atlantic City Surf. “Our entire staff has been working on providing the finishing touches as we get ready to host the game.’’
The Sandcastle will have a beach theme décor on the night of the game. Guests will be greeted by an Atlantic City Beach Patrol lifeguard stand and boat as they enter the Sandcastle and the entire stadium will be filled with beach-related items; including sand, salt water taffy and beach balls.
Prior to the game an autograph session featuring both All Star squads from the North and South will begin at 5 p.m. and be open to the public. A home run derby featuring a $1,000 first prize will follow at 6 p.m. sponsored by Century 21 Alliance. Prior to the game the Surf will introduce a number of celebrities, including New York Jets general manager Terry Bradway and Comcast-Spectator vice-president Dave Coskey. There will be other surprise guests in attendance as well. As part of pre-game ceremonies, the Atlantic City Surf in conjunction with the Pop Lloyd Committee will retire the jerseys of former Negro
League greats Pop Lloyd and Max Manning and give them a permanent place on the outfield wall of the Sandcastle. Former Negro League great and Hall of Famer Monte Irvin will be there for the ceremony. Right after the national anthem Perrucci has promised a very special surprise that he cannot divulge at this time.
“All I can say is that it will be a Sandcastle first,’’ Perrucci said.
On Tuesday July 12 the Surf will play host to an All Star party at the Trump Plaza Beach Bar in Atlantic City for the respective teams and front office staffs of the Atlantic League. There also will be a post-game party in the picnic area of the Sandcastle hosted by Center Plate. The North Fork Bank All Star Game is returning to Atlantic City for the first times since 1998, the inaugural season of the Atlantic League. The first pitch in Atlantic League history was thrown on May 20, 1998, when the Surf played host to the Somerset Patriots. Since that season 12 million fans have witnessed Atlantic League baseball.