You have been hearing about this event in our sports section for a while and now its time for Minor League Baseball’s one-of-a-kind event.  It is back and better than ever!

Saturday, February 5
10 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Radisson Hotel at Star Plaza, Merrillville

The Gary SouthShore RailCats third annual Fan Fest is right around the corner and this one-of-a-kind minor league event will once again be held at the Radisson Hotel in Merrillville, Ind. on February 5 from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

The largest celebration of minor league baseball in the Midwest, Fan Fest has brought more than 1,000 fans of RailCats baseball together the last two winters, and this year’s Fan Fest will be extra special with the unveiling of the RailCats 10th Anniversary Team highlighting the day-long event. Featuring ballpark-style games, appearances from dozens of RailCats coaches, players and administrators, autograph signings, question-and-answer sessions with team decision-makers and more, Fan Fest brings the Fun, Affordable, Family Entertainment of RailCats baseball to fans during the winter.

General admission tickets are available for $15 ($20 at the door), with kids 12 and under and season ticket holders able to buy tickets for just $10.  Every Fan Fest ticket includes an all-day pass to the event, a ticket to the RailCats 2011 Opening Day game on Friday, May 20 at 7:10 p.m. against the archrival Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks and a Fan Fest poster.  The first 500 adults and first 300 kids through the door will also receive a commemorative t-shirt. In addition, the RailCats will have at least a dozen former players and coaches in attendance so be sure to check out over the coming weeks as they are announced.

Don’t wait until February 5 as Fan Fest tickets can be purchased anytime by visiting and checking out the online merchandise store. Tickets are also available during regular business hours by calling the RailCats at 219.882.2255 or stopping by U. S. Steel Yard.

The Radisson Hotel is located at the intersection of I-65 and US-30 in Merrillville and is adjacent to the Star Plaza Theater, The Region’s foremost indoor entertainment venue.  For more information on the Radisson Hotel at Star Plaza, visit

The RailCats welcome the following players and coaches to Fan Fest 2011:

  • Jermaine Allensworth – Spent parts of four season in the majors before joining the RailCats
  • Eric Blakeley – member of 2007 NL Championship squad, now runs Diamond Kings in St. John
  • TIM BYRDAK – First member of the RailCats to move onto the majors, now plays for the New York Mets
  • Tony Cogan – RailCats lefty who excelled as both a closer and starter, played in majors with the Royals
  • Mick Curran -RailCats Hitting Coach since 2009
  • Willie Glen – Two-time NL Pitcher of the Year, current Pitching Coach for Single-A affiliate of the Florida Marlins
  • Kenny Graham – RailCats hitting coach from 2008-09, currently hitting coach in Toronto Blue Jays system
  • Steve Haake – Franchise leader in doubles, tripes, stolen bases and RBI
  • Josh Habel – All-Star lefty Pitcher in 2007 when he posted a 2.96 ERA (2nd in NL)
  • Brian Halford -played only pro season with RailCats and posted a 5-1 record.
  • WALLACE JOHNSON – Former major leaguer and Chicago White Sox Coach
  • Travis Kerber – Only RailCat to pitch five seasons in NWI and RailCats leader in appearences
  • Eric McNamee – Longtime second baseman who was an All-Star in 2008 and 2009.
  • Mike Rohde – Only RailCat to win Northern League Rookie of the Year, second all-time in career batting (.293)
  • Dan Soria – Biggest success story of the RailCats open tryout
  • Greg Tagert – Manager who has led the ‘Cats to six straight ployoff berths, including two NL titles
  • Alex Taylor – Played virtually every position for the RailCats during his two year career which included a NL Title
  • Tanner Townsend – Only RailCat to win Northern League Player of the Year, currently The RailCats Ambassador

Discount presale tickets to Fan Fest 2011 are available only through Friday, with prices going up $5 at the Radisson Hotel on Saturday. Presale tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for 2011 season ticket holders and kids (age 12 and under). Your pass to Fan Fest includes an all-day pass to Fan Fest, a Ticket to Opening Day, Friday, May 20 and a commemorative Fan Fest program and poster (first 1,000 fans only). The first 500 adults and first 300 kids will also snag a free t-shirt.

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