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Long Island Ducks Fan Fest Returns April 18; Spring Training Schedule Announced

Bethpage Ballpark. Photo by: Stacy Podelski/1495 Sports

Bethpage Ballpark. Photo by: Stacy Podelski/1495 Sports

The three-time Atlantic League champion Long Island Ducks today announced that they will be hosting the team’s Third Annual Fan Fest at Bethpage Ballpark on Saturday, April 18. In addition, the team unveiled its full spring training schedule in preparation for the 2015 season.

“Spring has officially sprung, which means it’s time for baseball,” says Ducks President/GM Michael Pfaff. “Our fans have continued to express their enjoyment with Fan Fest, and we look forward to giving them another fun-filled day at the ballpark.”

The Fan Fest will begin at 10:30 a.m., is free of charge and features something for every fan to enjoy. As previously announced, the day will be highlighted by the Ducks taking the field for a spring training game against the cross-sound rival Bridgeport Bluefish at 1:00 p.m. The exhibition contest will feature a pair of (one game only) rule changes that will serve as a trial to see their impact on the pace and excitement of a baseball game. The changes include a player being ruled out if they foul off a pitch with two strikes and a player earning a walk after three balls, rather than four. All at-bats would therefore be limited to a maximum of five pitches, and neither the batter nor pitcher would have a distinct advantage over the other.

“While these rules are not under consideration by the Atlantic League, we continue to serve as an experimental laboratory for ways to improve the pace of games,” says ALPB President Rick White. “The changes should spice things up for fans as the 2015 season approaches.”

Along with the spring training game, season ticket holders will be treated to their annual season ticket holder barbecue, which will take place in the Hebrew National Picnic Area. Those attending will get to enjoy an all-you-can-eat picnic and receive visits from Ducks players and coaches while the team takes batting practice. Season ticket holders will also be able to pick up their VIP gifts during Fan Fest by visiting the Customer Service Center, located on the main concourse near the West Gate.

Members of the Bethpage Federal Credit Union/Long Island Ducks Kids Club will have the opportunity to celebrate QuackerJack’s birthday party at the ballpark. The celebration will be hosted in the exclusive Smokin’ Al’s Party Deck right next to the field along the left field line. Members will be able to hang out with Long Island’s favorite mascot, take pictures, enjoy food and beverages, and of course, sing “Happy Birthday” to QJ.

A host of fun activities will also be available for the general public to enjoy along the concourse at Bethpage Ballpark. Kids will have a blast bouncing around in the Long Island Ducks Bounce House, zooming down the Duck Tail Inflatable Slide or testing their arm at the Ducks Speed Pitch. Those in attendance will be able to make an everlasting memory of their visit to the ballpark at the Ducks Photo Booth. Finally, the Waddle In Shop will be open for fans to browse a wide selection of Ducks merchandise, including some brand new items for 2015.

The spring training game schedule will continue on Sunday, April 19 when the Ducks visit the Bluefish at The Ballpark at Harbor Yard in Bridgeport, Conn. First pitch is slated for 4:05 p.m., and Ducks fans can attend the game for a $5 donation to the Bluefish Foundation. The final two games of the exhibition slate will be on Monday, April 20 and Tuesday, April 21 when the Ducks host the semi-pro Long Island Black Sox at 1:00 p.m. Admission to the games against the Black Sox will be free for season ticket holders, while a $5 donation to the QuackerJack Foundation will apply for the general public.

The Long Island Ducks are members of the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball and play their home games at Bethpage Ballpark. For further information, call (631) 940-DUCK or visit www.liducks.com.

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