When the Tulsa Drillers open the gates at ONEOK Field Tuesday afternoon, they're expecting an electric, near-sellout crowd to enter.
VP of Marketing Justin Gorski is focusing on making a good impression.
Gorski said the Texas League All-Star Game gives the organization a great opportunity to showcase its ballpark and city to fans, executives and MLB officials who visit from out of town.
"It's a pride thing," Gorski said. "We're going to have a lot of Minor League, Major League Baseball executives that have never been to Tulsa before. They get to come in and see our stadium. Being 10 years old in this stadium, now, no one would ever realize that a lot of people still haven't been here yet. So it's pretty amazing to have them here."
Most of those executives are staying at the River Spirit Casino Resort; they also have an event at FlyingTee in Jenks before the All-Star festivities start.
Tulsa dance band FuZed will sing the national anthem, and Tulsa Police Department officers will serve as color guard to present the flag before the game. Gorski hinted at another "VIP"-type music performance outside the stadium after the game.
"It's gonna be awesome," Gorski said. "Get here early."
Gates will open at 4:30, when teams will alternate between taking batting practice and signing autographs. The home run derby starts at 6:05. First pitch is scheduled for around 7:15. A fireworks show will follow the game and MVP award presentation.
In-game entertainment will feature Hornsby, the Drillers mascot, and Tyler's Amazing Balancing Act, a national touring show. Gorski said Tyler intends on balancing an eight-foot ladder on his face.
Gorski said the Drillers will employ one hundred event staffers for the event, which is the same amount the team uses for a busy Friday or Saturday night game.
7,833 fans constitutes an official sellout for a baseball game at ONEOK Field.
"We're calling it the biggest event of the summer in Tulsa, so we want everyone to come out, have some fun with us," Gorski said. "See the best prospects. You're not going to get this close to all these guys right here in one place than you will this next Tuesday."
On the baseball side...
The North Division roster features eight Tulsa Drillers. Infielder Gavin Lux talked a little bit this week on how this event can help him on his quest to make the big leagues.
"Being around the clubhouse with some of those guys and getting to talk to them and get to know them," Lux, who's hitting .313 with 13 home runs before the All-Star Break, said. "These are the guys you'll probably be playing against in the big leagues one day. It's definitely an honor, for sure."
Drillers manager Scott Hennessey and his coaching staff will lead the North Division.
"The Tulsa fans know baseball," Hennessey said of the atmosphere he expects around the park Tuesday. "I think we have the best fans in the league and they're going to support this and be loud and, hopefully, cheer on the North to a victory."
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