Coral Seymour Memorial Park, the home of the Alaska Baseball League's Peninsula Oilers, opens June 8 with the Oilers Hardball Preseason Tournament, giving fans a chance to check out some of the country's top collegiate ballplayers.
Fans also will have the opportunity to check out the ballpark's first major renovation since its dedication in 1976.
Following last year's season, the field was regraded and the outfield fence was rebuilt and moved about 12 feet closer to home plate -- though at 320 feet down the foul lines and 400 feet to straightaway center field, it's still the deepest park in Alaska.
The Oilers will host the National Baseball Congress World Series defending champion Anchorage Glacier Pilots and the Mat-Su Miners of the wood-bat ABL, as well as the Oceanside, Calif., Waves in the three-day (June 8, 9 and 10) hardball tournament.
The tournament is followed by a nine-game homestand, which ends against Athletes in Action-Alaska June 19. The Oilers have 23 home games scheduled this summer, including a four-game series with Mat-Su June 25 through 28 and a 10-game homestand July 7 through 18.
The ABL includes the Miners and Glacier Pilots, the Anchorage Bucs, the Alaska Goldpanners of Fairbanks and AIA-Alaska. The top two teams in the league win a trip to the NBC tournament, which the Oilers have won three times.
The Oilers will try to reclaim the ABL title this season after their run of three straight championships was snapped last year. Leading the charge will be second-year head coach Brian Green.
The ballpark is at the end of Tinker Lane off the Kenai Spur Highway in Kenai. General admission is $2, reserved seating in the covered grandstand is $5 and tickets for seniors and students are $1.
For more information on the Oilers, special promotions or ticket packages, call 283-7133 or stop by the team's office at the corner of Cook Avenue and Main Street in Kenai. The Peninsula Oilers are on the Web at www.oilersbaseball.com.
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