WESTFIELD – Entering its sophomore season as a member of the Futures Collegiate Baseball League, the Westfield Starfires have released the schedule for the 2020 campaign.
The Starfires, playing out of Billy Bullens Field in Westfield, will open the season on Friday, May 29 at 6:30 p.m. against the Worcester Bravehearts.
“We are looking forward to showcasing this year’s team,” said Donnie Moorhouse, who co-owns the team with business partner Chris Thompson. “Our inaugural season was a success and we are spending the off-season building on that success.”
The Starfires signed a 15-year lease with the City of Westfield in 2019.
The 2020 schedule includes a handful of prime weekend dates with five Fridays, four Saturdays, and four Sundays on tap.
“There are some holes in the home schedule as we have strived to leave room for Westfield Babe Ruth and its various tournaments including the City Cup championship and the regional tournament,” said Moorhouse. “We remain committed to supporting youth baseball in Westfield.”
The FCBL is a wood-bat, collegiate summer league featuring the top college baseball players in the country. Each team plays a 56-game schedule from May through the beginning of August.
The Futures League has added a new team to its league in 2020. The New Britain Bees come over from the independent Atlantic League of Professional Baseball.
New Britain will make its first trip to Bullens Field on June 2. The Bees join the collegiate ranks for the first time after playing in the independent Atlantic League of Professional Baseball for the last four seasons, giving the Futures League seven teams for the coming summer.
New Britain filled the baseball void at the 6,146-seat New Britain Stadium in 2016 after the New Britain Rock Cats moved up the road to become the Hartford Yard Goats following the previous season. During their time in New Britain, the Rock Cats were a Double-A affiliate of the Minnesota Twins (1995-2014) and Colorado Rockies (2015).
New Britain’s baseball history also included a Boston Red Sox affiliate from 1983-93. It had spent the previous decade playing at Muzzy Field in Bristol, the home of the Future League’s former Bristol Blues. The New Britain Red Sox played at Beehive Field, which is still located next to New Britain Stadium and primarily hosts the city’s high school teams today.
The “Bees” name is a nod to the city’s civic motto, which states that “industry fills the hive and enjoys the honey.” New Britain’s nickname is the “Hardware City” because of its industrial history and serving as the world headquarters of Stanley Black & Decker.
New Britain will host the FCBL All-Star Game on July 14. The event was last held in Connecticut in 2017.
The Starfires have also made select ticket packages available through its website at westfieldstarfires.com including Full Season Memberships, a 20 Game Flex Pack, and a 5 Game Flex Pack.