Sports on the North Carolina Coast: Baseball Page 2

In addition to long seasons filled with plenty of riveting games, the league holds an all-star game every year just like its older brother the MLB. This annual event goes from being one game into becoming a two-day fan festival for all to enjoy, with one of the highlights being the All-Star Home Run Derby held the day before the game. Naturally, having an All-Star game means that people must select who the league's all-stars are, which involves a very complicated process.

Every year, each of the 14 teams choose one media representative to accompany their head coach in the voting process. The candidates for the All-Star game are divided by their position and whether or not they play in the East or West part of the league, and from that point, players are voted in. However, while the media representatives can vote for whoever they want to play in the game, the head coaches can't vote for their own players, which is a fairly straightforward way to prevent stalemates and favoritism from occurring.

Of course, you can't have all-star players without all-star coaches, and the way that those are decided is much more direct: the two coaches with the highest winning percentages in the first half of the season are chosen to lead the two opposing teams of 27 in the all-star game, which are called the National team and the American team.

Once the players for the all-star game have all been chosen, the two coaches will hold a draft for the players that they want the most on their team. The coach that had the highest winning percentage in the first half of the season gets the first pick, and from there the draft continues until every last player has been drafted.

Outside of having to do a whole lot of international traveling, the low ticket costs are without a doubt one of the biggest advantages of being a minor league fan. Naturally, this carries over to all facets of the sport, with everything from admission to food being cheaper than its equivalent at an MLB game. This includes the all-star game tickets, for which the ticket prices are so low any MLB All-Star Game attendant would cry just by looking at them. To get reserved seats at the all-star game costs a measly $7, with general admission being only $6 for adults, $4 for kids six through twelve, and free for children five or under. For comparison, nosebleed seats to the MLB All-Star Game will run you hundreds of dollars.

As expected, the All-Star game isn't the only major event that goes on in the CPL every year; they also have annual championships. In the case of the CPL, the championship game is called the Petitt Cup. This cup happens every year at the end of the baseball season, and it is what all of these teams aim for as they practice and play throughout the year.

The way that the competitors are chosen each year is a tad unusual, but it's been working since 2002, when the Petitt Cup was started. Teams are chosen in three different ways: three of the teams are chosen by which three teams had the highest winning percentages in the first half of the season, three of the teams are chosen in the same way with the second half of the season, and the final two teams are chosen by which teams had the highest overall winning percentages. Naturally, there will be some overlap between those three fields, so those spots are filled by the teams with the next best overall winning percentages.

The Petitt Cup takes place during the first half of August every year, and is a must-see event for fans of the Coastal Plain League.

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