Published On: April 24th, 2009



Date: April 24, 2009

Mallards, Swedes to Play Exhibition

(MADISON, WI) The Swedes are coming! In preparation for the 2009 World Cup to be played beginning in September, the Swedish National Baseball Team has agreed to play the Madison Mallards in an exhibition game at the “Duck Pond” on Wednesday, May 27. This ultra-competitive international affair marks the first time the Mallards will have played a preseason game since 2002 when the team competed against the rival Wisconsin Woodchucks. Tickets for the event will be priced the same as a regular season Mallards game and will go on sale when all single-game tickets become available to the public on Saturday, May 2. Passes for the Great Dane Duck Blind area will not be available but the deck will be open for additional seating. Gates will open at 4:30 p.m. with the game beginning at 6:05 p.m.

The Swedish National team is considered to be one of the top six teams in all of Europe, despite having only around 1,000 licensed players in the country. Some of its best athletes play in the United States, including pitcher Christian Staehely (Seattle Mariners farm system) and infielder Adam Sorgi (Philadelphia Phillies farm system).

The team will make two other stops at Northwoods League venues prior to arriving in Madison, including a contest in Brainerd on May 25 and La Crosse on May 26.

The 2009 World Cup is being played for the 38th year and is organized by the IBAF, the world governing body for baseball. The tournament will be held in seven different countries all over Europe—from Moscow, Russia to Barcelona, Spain. Sweden will host one group stage at the new national park for baseball in Sundbyberg. Other groups are being played in Regensburg, Germany and Prague, Czech Republic. 

In total, 92 games will be played in the 2009 Baseball World Cup, in an effort to market baseball as a world class game and place it back into the Summer Olympic Games in 2016.

Return of Home Talent League

The Mallards are excited to announce the team has agreed to partner with the Home Talent Baseball League for a second year to host the association’s All-Star Game at the “Duck Pond” on July 31. The contest will feature at least one player from all 44 local teams in a 7-inning affair to help celebrate the 80th anniversary of Wisconsin’s largest adult amateur baseball league. Last year the Home Talent League All-Stars competed against the U.S. Military All-Star Team in the “All-American Challenge,” during the Northwoods League All-Star Fest hosted by the Mallards. For this year’s event, tickets will be general admission priced at $6 and will be available for purchase when single-game tickets go on sale Saturday, May 2. Gates will open at 5:30 p.m. with the game beginning at 7:05 p.m.

Home Talent League President Pat Reilly appreciates the opportunity to once again team-up with the Mallards to give the league’s 800-plus players the chance to play in front of thousands of fans who will be in attendance.

“On behalf of everyone involved with Home Talent League baseball–from the directors down to the local volunteers—we’re extremely grateful for the opportunity to showcase our league in such an impressive venue,” said Reilly.

In order to participate in the league, players must live within a 6-mile radius of a given team. If a person’s city currently does not have a team, this radius grows larger, and they can apply to play at other nearby communities.

The Home Talent League is funded almost exclusively through fundraising efforts including concessions sales and 50/50 raffles. 

Added Reilly, “We’d like to thank everyone who has supported our league to help keep it going since 1929. If anyone is interested in playing in the league or in attending a game this summer, please be sure to check out our website that is updated regularly.” (

Notable Home Talent League alumni include former Major League Baseball players Gene Brabender (Black Earth), still-active 63-year-old Vern Geishert (Richland Center), Brad Woodall (Middleton; now part-owner of Hitter’s Sports Plex), and Ryne Duren (Stoughton).

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