Worcester, MA— The Futures Collegiate Baseball League of New England has published the 2019 Futures League regular season schedule. The Futures League’s ninth season — and the Worcester Bravehearts' sixth — will open on Thursday, May 30, 2019.
To view the Bravehearts full 2019 printable calendar schedule, click here
The Bravehearts will begin at home in a rematch against the team that beat them in the 2016 and 2017 Championship Series: the Nashua Silver Knights. The team will also host the North Shore Navigators on Friday night, May 31st for the team’s first post-game fireworks show of the season. Those dates will kick off the 56-game campaign for the Bravehearts, who will try to win a 4th championship after claiming the co-championship in 2018 with the Martha’s Vineyard Sharks.
Those same Martha’s Vineyard Sharks are no longer part of the Futures League, having been replaced by the soon-to-be-named franchise in Westfield, MA. Westfield’s first trip to Worcester will happen during a morning game on Thursday, June 6th. The Bravehearts will not make their first trip to Bullens Field in Westfield until June 24th.
The 2019 Futures League will include seven teams, just as it did last season: the Nashua Silver Knights, North Shore Navigators, Brockton Rox, Bristol Blues, and Pittsfield Suns in addition to the new Westfield franchise. Each team will play a regular season schedule split evenly with 28 home games and 28 road games.
With seven total teams in the league in 2019, the schedule is laid out such that the Bravehearts will have an off-day every 6th day. The exceptions will be a long 13-game stretch from June 14 - June 25 that will include a doubleheader at North Shore on Sunday, June 16. In addition to the home game on May 31, Worcester fans can gear up for a series of four more Friday night games on June 14, June 28, July 26, and August 2. The team will also host four Saturday night contests, four Sunday afternoon games, and a 4th of July matinee against Nashua. The Bravehearts have confirmed an additional fireworks show after the game on July 20th, which will be the 50th anniversary of the first manned mission to land on the moon when Apollo 11 did so in 1969.
The Futures League looks to build on a record-breaking 2018 season where the League ranked first in New England summer collegiate baseball for overall attendance with 261,930 fans and for average attendance with 1,514 fans per game. The 1,514 fans per game also ranked the Futures League second in the country for all of summer collegiate baseball. After eight seasons, the Futures league has drawn upwards of 1.9 million fans.
“Certainly we’re happy with the way the schedule came together,” said Bravehearts’ General Manager Dave Peterson. “To be able to host nearly half of our games on the weekends while having three ideal dates for local school and camp field trips is excellent, and we’re looking forward to beginning our new rivalry with our friends in Westfield.”
Those morning games will take place on June 5th vs. Pittsfield, June 6th vs. Westfield, and July 10th against Brockton. The Bravehearts are also schedule to play two morning games on the road— June 4 at Pittsfield and July 9 at Brockton. All games will begin at 10:30 AM and will be structured as field trip days for students in local schools and day camps.
The regular season runs from Wednesday, May 29 through Sunday, August 4 and will be immediately followed by the Futures League playoffs. The playoffs will feature six teams in a three-round format. The first and second place teams will each have a bye in round one. The next four teams with the best overall records will play in winner-take-all play-in games. The play-in games will feature the #3 vs. #6 seed and the #4 vs. #5 seed. Teams will be seeded 1 through 6 based on overall records. Round two will feature a 3-game series between the league’s #1 seed and the lowest remaining seed from round one, while the league’s #2 seed will match up against the highest remaining seed from round one. The Futures League championship will be determined by a final 3-game series between the two winners of the semi-final round.
On July 16th, the Pittsfield Suns will host the 8th Annual Futures League All-Star Game at Historic Wahconah Park in Pittsfield, MA. This will be the second time the Suns host the league all-star game. The first time around—in 2013— the game was attended by Bravehearts owner John Creedon, Jr., former-City Manager Michael O’Brien, and President of the Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce, Tim Murray. That event was largely-credited as being the event that convinced city leadership to bring baseball back to the community in the form of a summer collegiate franchise, and the Bravehearts were born just two months later.
Season tickets, group outings, mini plans and flex packs are now on sale by calling the Bravehearts office at 508-438-3773. Single-game tickets will go on-sale in April.
Since 2011, the Futures League has experienced a meteoric rise to become one of the top summer collegiate leagues in the country. This rise is due in large part to the league’s well-capitalized ownership groups featuring franchises with tremendous facilities in outstanding communities. In addition, the Futures Collegiate Baseball League provides family-friendly and affordable fun for its host communities in a minor league-style setting. Learn more at www.thefuturesleague.com.