H-E-B Big League Weekend, now in its fifth season, continues to expand as a spring break destination site for Central and South Central Texans.
The American League champion Cleveland Indians will play the two-time defending AL West-winning Texas Rangers on Friday night and Saturday afternoon at the Alamodome.
All-Star pitcher Danny Salazar will start for Cleveland against A.J. Griffin.
The weekend, co-sponsored by Ryan Sanders Baseball, owners of the Round Rock Express, has turned into much more than just a couple exhibition games.
The Alamodome also holds a large sports collectible show — this year featuring former Houston Astros outfielder Jose Cruz — baseball card giveaways, autograph sessions, a hotdog eating contest and postgame concerts by Smash Mouth on Friday night and Los Lonely Boys on Saturday afternoon.
The first four Big League Weekends have averaged about 60,000 fans.
“There’s a lot of competition for the entertainment dollar during spring break, but we like how we’ve positioned ourselves, with so many things in proximity of the Alamodome,” said J.J. Gottsch, COO of Ryan Sanders Baseball.
Rangers contingent: Texas is bringing first baseman Mike Napoli, third baseman Will Middlebrooks and outfielders Nomar Mazara, Delino DeShields and Jared Hoying to San Antonio, along with several middle-tier prospects.
Spring update: The Rangers have had a rough time in Surprise, Ariz. Their 6-12 record through Wednesday was the worst in the Cactus League, and they’ve been outscored by 35 runs. … The Indians are 8-10 but are plus-8 in run differential.
BIG LEAGUE WEEKEND
Friday-Saturday, The Alamodome, San Antonio
Friday: Cleveland Indians (Danny Salazar) vs. Texas Rangers (A.J. Griffin), 7:05 p.m. Postgame concert: Smash Mouth
Saturday: Cleveland Indians (Mike Clevinger) vs. Texas Rangers (Dillon Gee), 2:05 p.m. Postgame concert: Los Lonely Boys
Tickets: $10 to $77, available at www.bigleagueweekend.com or at the gate.
Note: Sports collectible shows and giveaways at 4:30 p.m. Friday and 11:30 a.m. Saturday. Hot-dog eating contest at 1 p.m. Saturday.