Major League Baseball played the first professional baseball game on an active military base two years ago when the Marlins and Braves faced off at Fort Bragg in historic fashion as part of a Fourth of July weekend tribute to servicemen and servicewomen. More than 12,000 fans, predominantly members of the armed services and their families, filled a temporary venue on the military base in North Carolina to watch the Marlins top the Braves on a newly renovated field funded by MLB and the Players Association.
Over this past offseason, Minor League Baseball considered bringing a game of its own to Fort Bragg. With a Carolina League team coming next season to a new ballpark in Fayetteville, N.C., which neighbors Fort Bragg, Minor League Baseball was eager to reach out to the local military community. MiLB officials traveled to Fort Bragg earlier this year to tour the facility, meet with base leaders and assess the possibility of having two teams play at Fort Bragg Field. However, Minor League Baseball President Pat O’Conner said there were too many logistics to coordinate in too short a time frame to turn the idea into reality.
“There is a long list of stuff that you have to do to make that happen,” O’Conner said. “MLB did it and it takes an organization with their kind of resources to be able to do it.”