The Winter banquet (formerly Phillies Caravan) was nice last night. Just like last year, lots of good people, Charlie Manuel proved to tell some great stories and I even won a poster sized copy of Pork Illustrated featuring 2008 Ironpig Cedric Bowers. There was a lot of friendly faces we haven’t seen since September and notably missing was Ironpig’s General Manager Kurt Landes. Heard a rumor he is under the weather and best wishes and prayers that he recovers quickly. Also was able to meet Jeff Schuler who writes the Hog Blog on the Morning Call website. Charlie Manuel and Reuben Amaro hinted heavily that the Phillies right field spot was Domonic Brown’s to lose.
After the banquet, I was really impressed with Matt Rizzotti. He seemed to be lingering around and within minutes a group of small kids came running over and he enthusiastically greeted them with high fives, autographs and photos. Rizzotti looked comfortable in his place tonight with such a prominant staff of honored guests tonight. He should fill the shoes of our former first basement with no problem… even making jokes about random hecklers who made their preference of Andy Tracy known last season. I almost guarantee in May people will be saying, Andy who?
Good time and good cause.
What struck me harder last night was realizing that this season will be a first for the Ironpigs. Although PA Announcer Tim Chorones announced mascot FeFe as the first lady of the Ironpigs, we have a true first lady now with the arrival of Margaret Sandberg. As stated many times last night by Ryne Sandberg and others, Mrs. Sandberg has proven herself to be very community and charity oriented. This is an element the Ironpigs have lacked in the previous 3 years. I truly look forward to her efforts here in the Lehigh Valley.