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Festival of States and baseball join

Combining two St. Petersburg traditions _ the Festival of States and spring baseball _ the Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association announced plans Wednesday for next month's Festival of Baseball weekend.

Events included in the four-day Festival of Baseball (March 19-22) will be the third annual Legends of Baseball Game at Al Lang Stadium, a Baseball Fair autograph and memorabilia show, a Legends Fantasy Camp, a legends celebrity golf tournament and the annual Governor's Baseball Dinner at the Bayfront Center Arena.

Under the umbrella of St. Petersburg's Festival of States celebration (March 19-April 5) for the first time, the Festival of Baseball will bring to town past stars Ted Williams, Brooks Robinson, Johnny Mize, Bob Feller, Steve Garvey, Boog Powell, Tug McGraw, Dave Kingman, Billy Williams, Tony Perez, Minnie Minoso and others.

The festival begins March 19 with the Governor's Baseball Dinner. Tickets are $100 per plate and available at the St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce.

The Legends of Baseball Game highlights Friday's events. Preceding the 8 p.m. start of game, which will be played in a National League against American League format, former major-leaguers will participate in a Legends Home Run Derby at Al Lang. Tickets to the game, which includes the home run derby, are $8, $6 and $3 and available at the Chamber, the MLBPAA's St. Petersburg office, the Festival of States office, and several C&S Bank branches.

Earlier Friday, the Legends Golf Tournament (9 a.m.) will take place at Feather Sound Country Club. Cost is $200 per player and includes breakfast, prize packages and post-tournament awards.

A Legends Fantasy Camp will be held Saturday from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. at North Shore Park. Tickets are $95 per camper and available at the MLBPAA office. Running concurrently with the camp will be the two-day Baseball Fair autograph/memorabilia show at the University of South Florida Activities Center. Saturday's hours are 9 a.m.-4 p.m. The festival concludes Sunday with an 11 a.m.-4 p.m. session of the Baseball Fair.

Baseball Fair tickets are $2 for adults and $1 for children. Autograph tickets are $25 Saturday and $20 on Sunday. Williams is scheduled for a two-hour Saturday autograph session (10 a.m.-noon), with baseballs signed for $55 and all flat items $45.

For more information on any Baseball Festival event, call the MLBPAA office at 822-3399.

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