Last week was an exciting week at the Corn Crib! The Normal CornBelters, presented by the Illinois Corn Farmers, hosted the 2012 State Farm Frontier League Home Run Derby and the All-Star Game on July 10 and 11.
The Home Run Derby took place on Tuesday, July 10 at 6:30pm. Before the bats started swinging, the All-Star players from the Western and Eastern Divisions made special appearances to Advocate BroMenn Medical Center: Adult Day Services and the Boys and Girls Club of McLean County. While at the medical center, the players from the Eastern Division got to talk about all things baseball and had the chance to share stories with their elders while hearing a few as well. Over at the Boys and Girls Club, players from the Western Division had the chance to hang out with those on the other side of the age spectrum. Kids aged 5-13 were able to play sports with professional baseball players. The All-Stars played whiffle ball, mat ball, basketball, air hockey and more with over 60 kids from the club.
In the afternoon, the All-Stars, sponsors, fans and staff participated in an All-Star Luncheon presented by the Bloomington/Normal Convention and Visitors Bureau at the Marriott in Normal. Keynote speaker Mike Veeck was the special guest during the event. Veeck is the son of the famous Bill Veeck, Hall of Famer and owner of several major league baseball teams.
The Corn Crib opened early the night of the derby so fans of all ages could go down onto the field and get autographs from their favorite All-Star players, which was presented by Wilber. Reggy the Purple Party Dude, presented by the Illinois Corn Growers, made a special appearance to the ballpark and provided hilarious entertainment for the crowd throughout the derby. The CornBelters very own Pat Trettel competed in the Derby, but Russell Moldenhauer from the Lake Erie Crushers took first place with 12 home runs total. The night ended with a fantastic fireworks show presented by Illinois Lottery.
On Wednesday, July 11, the Corn Crib hosted the State Farm Frontier League All-Star Game. Players, staff and sponsors from the Frontier League were invited to a relaxing day at Fox and Hounds Day Spa or to play a round of golf at Ironwood Golf Course before the big game took place. The game kicked off at 6:30pm as the Western and Eastern Divisions battled it out for the number one spot. Reggy the Purple Party Dude, presented by Illinois Corn Growers, was back to provide more crazy entertainment throughout the game. The East took the victory over the West, outscoring them 9-6. The London Rippers’ Joash Brodin was honored with the game’s Most Valuable Player Award, going 4-5 with a home run and three runs scored. Frontier Communications presented fireworks immediately following the game and the fun kept rolling with a Post-Game Party presented by Mid Illini Credit Union. Special guests, Brushfire, were the musical entertainment for the after-party as they provided their unique mix of country and upbeat rock music.
Country sensation Dierks Bentley entertained a crowd of over 5,000 at the ballpark despite a little rain, as he headlined a concert on July 14. Along with 107.7 The Bull and S.A.W. Entertainment events, the CornBelters were able to bring this first ever stand-alone concert to the Corn Crib. The concert also featured Josh Thompson and John Pardi as the opening performances.
“We feel that the Corn Crib is the best concert venue in Central Illinois,” said team President Steve Malliet. “We learned a lot from this event and look forward to hosting many more concerts in the future.”