Westfield Starfires bringing game, youth clinic to Springfield

The Starfires will host their first summer classic at the Walker Memorial Grandstand in Springfield’s Forest Park on Sunday.
Published: Jul. 28, 2023 at 1:20 PM EDT
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SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - This weekend, the Westfield Starfires will play a game just a few miles east of their home at Bullens Field. The Starfires will host their first summer classic at the Walker Memorial Grandstand in Springfield’s Forest Park on Sunday, but the event is a lot more than just a baseball game.

Sunday’s event will begin with a free youth baseball clinic starting at 1:30 p.m.

“Even if parents are looking to get their daughter or son involved in baseball, we’d love to have you come out and check out what we’re all about,” said Starfires Owner Chris Thompson.

Along with the youth clinic, there will be activities, music, and food available. A meet-and-greet with the Starfires is slated for 2:30 p.m., followed by pre-game ceremonies and a 4 p.m. first pitch.

For Starfires player Josh Frometa, Sunday will serve as a full-circle moment. Born and raised in Holyoke, the infielder, who now plays at American International College, will have the chance to give back.

“Now I am the older guy, being able to teach the game and to be able to teach the way of going about business, it’s kind of cool to be able to advise the younger guys,” said Frometa.

While the field has been home to many high school championship games, Sunday’s event will mark the first summer collegiate baseball game held at the Walker Grandstand, which was built in the late 1940s.

During the school year, pitcher Joel Valera suits up for San Jacinto Community College in Texas. We asked what message he would like to share about Sunday’s game.

“…To come and see the energy of the Starfires. The way we’re playing right now, we are playing good baseball and to come and see baseball,” Valera said.

The city of Springfield hopes that energy evolves into a fun annual event.

“We’d love to have them back year after year. We think this is the beginning of a great partnership with the Westfield Starfires,” said Peter Krupczak, director of open space for Springfield Parks, Building, and Recreational Management.

Not only is the youth clinic free on Sunday, so is admission to Forest Park and the game. Thompson said that is thanks to their partnership with MGM Springfield.

Segment sponsored by Westfield Starfires