BRISTOL - Winter began on Wednesday but the Futures Collegiate Baseball League is already thinking about next summer, having released the 2017 season schedule on Tuesday. There are a few highlights on next summer’s schedule for the Bristol Blues.
The most important date on Bristol’s schedule is Tuesday, July 18, when the FCBL All-Star Game will be held at Muzzy Field.
“It’ll be a really great event,” Blues co-owner Elliott Scheiner said, noting that the team is still working on the details.
“We’re truly looking forward to doing that, and having it in Bristol is a big deal to us,” he said.
As far as the regular season goes, most things will remain the same for scheduling, but one aspect will be much different. The Torrington Titans are taking what is expected to be a year’s hiatus from FCBL play in the 2017 season, making the Blues one of only four teams in the West Division and the league’s only team in Connecticut next year.
Despite the absence of one team, each FCBL squad will once again play a 56-game regular season schedule, split evenly between home and away game. But with an odd number of teams, off days will be less consistent this coming season. In the past, the Blues usually had Mondays off and played every other day of the week, but that is no longer the case.
“Having nine teams is a little more difficult, but the schedule works out for us. We have no complaints,” Scheiner said.
The Blues will open the season on June 1 when they host the defending-champion Nashua Silver Knights. Last season, the Blues were 1-3 against Nashua. Later in the season, Bristol will play the Silver Knights three times in four games between July 2 and July 6.
Over the season, Bristol will only have three home-and-home series. Other than facing Nashua twice in a row in July, one will be early in the season and the other will be in the middle. On June 6, the Blues will visit the Pittsfield Suns and then, on June 8, the Suns will be in Bristol.
Bristol’s third back-to-back contests against the same team will be right after another. In the two days after the Blues face the silver Knights in a home-and-home, they will do the same against the Wachusett Dirt Dawgs.
The Blues will conclude the 2017 regular season like they will begin it, at home. The Dirt Dawgs will be in Bristol in Aug. 6, the final day of the regular season, to take on the Blues.
The longest the Blues will be away from Muzzy will be three games, which occurs twice. The longest homestand will be two games, which will happen 10 times this coming summer.
“We’re looking forward to a great year for this year,” Scheiner said.
With the schedule out, the Blues are offering a pair of holiday deals on tickets for the 2017 season. With the purchase of a 10-game flex pack, the buyer will receive a free ticket to the season opener. With the purchase of season tickets for the 2017 season, the buyer will receive a free ticket to the All-Star Game. Those deals expire on Dec. 31.
The Blues will also hold a Fan Fest on Sunday, May 28 - the day before Labor Day - featuring musical performances by two bands at the field and the introduction of the new season’s players to the fans, including interactive events.
Josh Kestenbaum can be reached at 860-973-1811 or firstname.lastname@example.org On Twitter: @K_baum30