WESTFIELD, Massachusetts (November 1, 2022) – The Westfield Starfires’ partnership with the 104th Fighter Wing at Barnes Air National Guard Base has earned top honors from the Futures Collegiate Baseball League (FCBL).
In recognition of that partnership, the FCBL has named the Starfires the 2022 Futures Collegiate Baseball League’s Community Relations Program of the Year.
As part of the ongoing relationship with the 104th, the Starfires unveiled specialty uniforms on a trip to Barnes during the 2022 season. The details of the jersey include the Air Force logo on the right arm, and the core values of the Air Force; Integrity, Service, and Excellence, are visible along the neckline. The City of Westfield’s zip code, 01085, is also stitched into the uniform.
The team unveiled the specialty jersey at Bullens Field during Military Appreciation Day on June 24. The jersey proved so popular among the players and Starfires fans that the team also wore them on July 4 and during several other games later in the campaign. Team MVP Jackson Hornung wore the uniform during the Home Run Derby at the 2022 FCBL All-Star Game.
“We are honored by this league-wide recognition and proud of our association with the 104th,” said team owner Chris Thompson. “It has been our goal since inception to be a vital community partner and this award affirms the hard work and passion of our players and staff.”
FCBL Commissioner Joe Paloucci agrees.
"This is a special partnership that the Starfires have with the 104th Fighter Wing, one I look forward to watching grow in the coming years,’ said Paloucci. “The relationship is a big part of the Westfield Starfires identity, as well as the identity of the community.”
“We are extremely proud of our relationship with the Westfield Starfires, as well as the rest of the community. The Starfires’ dedication to the game echoes our own values such as excellence in all we do and putting trust in our teams,” stated Chris Riga, 104th Fighter Wing Chief of Staff.
The team’s connection to the air base has existed since the very founding of the franchise. The Starfires name itself comes from the Lockheed F-94 Starfire. The Starfire was first flown by the pilots of the 104th in 1954, just two years after the official dedication of the base.
The Starfires will be celebrating their 5th Anniversary season during the summer of 2023. Season memberships and flex tickets are available at westfieldstarfires.com.