Commissioner Sean McGrath announced the NECBL's 2014 schedule earlier this month. The New England League starts its 21st baseball season on Thursday, June 5.
"We are anticipating a very special milestone to the start of our 21st season when our 100th alumnus makes his MLB debut. It is even more special because our very first alumnus, Joe Nathan (Tigers), is thriving in the Big Leagues and is baseball's active career saves leader," said McGrath. "If you think you may know who the 100th alumnus will be, be sure to visit our website at www.necbl.com to make your prediction."
The 2014 season will feature six teams in two divisions. The North Division is comprised of the Holyoke Blue Sox, the Keene Swamp Bats, the Laconia Muskrats, the North Adams SteepleCats, the Sanford Mainers and the Vermont Mountaineers.
Playing in the South Division are the Danbury Westerners, the Mystic Schooners, the New Bedford Bay Sox, the Newport Gulls, the Ocean State Waves and the Plymouth Pilgrims.
"Our fans throughout New England will enjoy seeing a change to our division alignments, which includes two new in-state rivalries, Keene and Laconia in New Hampshire and Mystic and Danbury in Connecticut," McGrath continued. "The All-Star Game returns to Holyoke under second year team president, Clark Eckhoff, which is certain to feature some of the top MLB draft picks in the coming years, like Stephen Strasburg (Nationals), Mark Appel (Astros), or like Red Sox World Series Champions Craig Breslow, Andrew Bailey, and Ryan Lavarnway."
The League returns to its traditional 42 game format, with each team facing a divisional rival six times and a non-divisional team twice. The NECBL is bringing back select scheduled double headers for the first time in years: both New Bedford and Plymouth will play home and home double headers with Danbury.
The top four teams in each division advance to the playoffs. Division champions are determined after two, best-of-three series. The Fay Vincent Cup, awarded to the NECBL champion, is based on a final, best-of-three series between the two Division champions.
The Laconia Muskrats will start their season on Friday, June 6, by hosting the Vermont Mountaineers. The Muskrats will travel to Keene on June 7 and will return home on Sunday, June 8 to host the Sanford Mainers.
The League's All-Star Game takes place on Sunday, July 20 in Holyoke. Players will also get Monday the 21st off as part of the All-Star Break.
The season ends on Saturday, August 2 with the first of three, best-of-three rounds of playoffs commencing on Monday, August 4.
The full schedule is available on www.necbl.com, or by accessing the following link: