This blog at USA Today lists a timeline for the game!
Coca-Cola Park Holds Home Run Derby To Benefit Breast Cancer – Regional News – Lehigh Valley Story – WFMZ Allentown
Here is a chance to play on the “Pigs” field to raise money for Breast Cancer Research. $125/person or $500/team of 4. Thanks Coca-Cola Park!
“No franchise has sold out like the Dragons of the Class A Midwest League. The Dragons achieved their 814th sellout on Saturday…surpassing the national sports record set by the N.B.A.’s Portland Trail Blazers from 1977 to 1995.” In the Daytona area, industry has declined, which makes the team’s success even more marvelous.
Also, with Sunday night’s win against the South Bend Silver Hawks, the Dragons are now first place in the Midwest League’s Eastern Division.
Though the Dragons are setting records and winning first place spots, what really got my attention in the NY Times article that I linked was the last few paragraphs, describing what it’s like to be there on game nights:
“There is a family mood on game nights. The foghorn blasts at 6 p.m. when the gates open. Fans walk in from free street parking, enjoying the bright sunlight on the far edge of the Eastern time zone. Some fans head for the suites, which can be leased in the high $20,000 range, and others spread out on the wraparound concourse.
On these lush summer evenings, the shaky economy is stored in the back of the mind. Children con adults into buying them snacks; the Green Team lobs free T-shirts into the stands. Manager Delino DeShields, who stole 463 bases in 13 big-league seasons, tries to coax a victory out of young players, most of whom will never make the majors. Yet for these few months, they are the biggest thing in town.
One of the Dragons drops a lovely bunt down the third-base line and beats it out for a single. Some of the fans applaud, making this event feel, oddly enough, just like a ballgame.”
The article also describes a long-time fan getting the attention of one of the team mascots who would come and kiss his 90 year old mother on the head. She would talk about it for the next week.
The second-ever concert to be held at Coca-Cola Park in Allentown has been announced! Big & Rich, Gretchen Wilson, and Cowboy Troy will play on Friday, August 19, 2011. Tickets for the show go on sale next Saturday, July 9 at 10 a.m. You might want to get this number, 610-841-7447, in your speed dial, because tickets for the first-ever concert at Coca-Cola Park sold out.
That show, featuring Bob Dylan, John Mellencamp and Willie Nelson, is the only major act to have played at Coca-Cola Park, on July 14, 2009. 10,000 tickets sold out almost a month before the show. Children were allowed to accompany adults for free. It was estimated that 11,000 people attended this concert.
Here’s a new team whose stadium I posted about earlier. They now have a name – fans chose it from three options – and kids from a local elementary school helped with the name and logo unveiling this morning. The Sugar Land Skeeters’ first season will begin in April 2012!
IronPigs’ #1 fan group, Noise Nation, has put together a charity cookbook (original article by Keith Groller in the Morning Call)
The team, their wives, and a few players from rival teams have teamed up with founder and president of Noise Nation, Dan Kehl, to create a winning group of recipes. The cookbook costs $20. It can be purchased from any member of Noise Nation if you see them at Coca-Cola park, or you can order a copy from http://www.LVNoiseNation.com
Minor league baseball isn’t what it used to be.
If you were of the generations who were growing up or had young families during the 20 years from 1970 to 1990, you may think, “Minor league baseball as family entertainment? No way!” But I have news for you: For the past twenty years or so, minor league baseball has enjoyed an extraordinary increase in popularity, no matter what class of team you are going to see. If you are considering taking your family to explore a game, you will not see empty stadiums or depressing conditions. You will experience the vibrant, up-and-coming phenomenon that is even more than a wonderful baseball game. There is something for all ages of your family to enjoy – not just every age of child, but you and their grandparents too! You can get up-close-and-personal with the umpires (be polite, you might see him at the on Saturday!). You can experience your hometown’s or county’s own team, visiting surrounding towns or counties and spreading the word about how fabulous your hometown is, tempting others to visit, set up shop, or buy a home here. You can have the satisfaction of knowing that your attendance is what drove the subsequent growth of your hometown, because ticket sales are almost half of your local team’s profit.
If you are considering going, you will also find that you can take your whole family , and feed them too, for the price of ONE ticket to a major league game! And, you will not have to drive to Citizen’s Bank Park to do it. Let’s dream a little bit, my friends: if Phoenixville had its own baseball stadium, you might very well be able to walk there. If there were a stadium in Phoenixville, more businesses would be successful here. Maybe your business! In a time when we need more local opportunities for us all, the team would be a large and beneficial local business. It would draw us together, family members, school friends, and neighbors, all cheering for a common goal. Let’s take the recent success of our Farmer’s Market and our downtown businesses even farther! Join me in supporting the construction of our very own baseball stadium!
Here is an example of how minor league baseball works for communities:
Great news for the Appalachian League‘s Minnesota Twins and Elizabethton High School Baseball! The Twins, the City of Elizabethton, and generous donors provided a new lighting system, scoreboard, batting cage, new restrooms, and concession stands. It was built by inmates from the Northeast Correctional Center in Roan Mountain. The Minnesota Twins spent $18,000 on a new batting cage last year and added $10,000 in improvements prior to the 2011 season — a facility that is primarily used by the Elizabethton High School baseball team.
A statement made by Elizabethton Parks and Recreation director Mike Mains, who also serves as General Manager of the Elizabethton Twins baseball club during the summer months, went this way: “This is just another improvement that directly benefits the school system in many ways more than it does the minor league team…Sometimes I wonder if people are really fully aware, in our community, of the benefits that a minor league team has. Not only of bringing money into the community, which will be close to a half-million dollars over a two-month period, but because we have this team here our youth reap the benefits of it.”
Also from the article: “In the last 10 years alone, over 30 former Elizabethton Twins have made their way onto a Major League Baseball club – and many citizens in the community have missed out on an opportunity to see names such as Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau, Matt Garza and Denard Span.” Great record guys – congratulations on the new stadium improvements!
Minor League Baseball: No. 1 pick Harper excites fans in Kannapolis | Salisbury, NC – Salisbury Post
18-year-old Mickey Mantle? Babe Ruth? Skilled AND a nice guy? Watch the Washington Nationals to see more of this meteoric star!
Here is a great blog entry on both pros and cons of minor league baseball from a blogger in Detroit. I’ve snipped a gem that I hope will persuade you to read the rest of the entry:
“…it’s much more fun to yell insulting things at the umpire and have him actually be able to hear you. I’ve sat behind a few fans that wrote down the umpires’ names when they were announced before the game, as to be able to harass all of them personally. Last year, I sat a few rows behind a guy that would yell “We respectfully disagree” at the umpire whenever there was a (perceived) bad call. It was the most polite harassment any of us had ever heard, presumably including the umpire, who started laughing the first time that this happened.”
Thanks for this great blog entry, Garrett!