Monthly Archives: October 2011

Parent to White Sox is Official!

Thanks to our old friend Tommy V out at the R-Phils who told us that R-Phil’s manager Mark Parent will be a bench coach for the Chicago White Sox.

For the full story, check out Tommy V’s blog:

Click here to view full story

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LV Steelhawks Announce 2012 Schedule!!

Bethlehem, PA: The Lehigh Valley Steelhawks were proud to announce their 2012 IFL Schedule this afternoon at a press conference inside the Sam Adams Grille at the Holiday Inn and Conference Center, located at 7736 Adrienne Drive in Fogelsville. The 17 week regular season features 14 games, seven home and seven away, including three bye weeks. The IFL features some new teams this year and is missing some teams from last year. As a result, the Steelhawks will be traveling a little more, making five trips to the mid-west.

Featured on this years schedule are four more matchups with the cross-town rival Reading Express. The Steelhawks will also be looking for redemption against teams they faced last year in Chicago, Bloomington, and Green Bay. The Steelhawks will play each of these teams multiple times. Last years LaCrosse Spartans moved, and are now the Cedar Rapids Titans, who the Steelhawks will also play twice. Making their first trip to the Lehigh Valley is the Omaha Beef who travel to the Stabler Arena for a week 13 matchup.

Important dates to remember for this season are: the Season Opener on February 24th, Home Opener on March 11th, Last Home Game on June 2nd, and the Final Regular season game on June 8th. The Home Schedule includes one Sunday afternoon contest, and six Saturday Night games. The team’s road schedule includes four Friday night contests, and three Saturday night games.

The complete IFL 2012 Lehigh Valley Steelhawks Schedule is as follows:

February 24 – @ Chicago Slaughter

March 3 – @ Cedar Rapids Titans

March 11 – vs. Bloomington Extreme (Home Opener)

March 17 – vs. Reading Express

March 23 – @ Bloomington Extreme

March 31 – BYE

April 7 – @ Reading Express

April 14 – vs. Cedar Rapids Titans

April 21 – BYE

April 28 – vs. Chicago Slaughter

May 5 – @ Reading Express

May 11 – @ Green Bay Blizzard

May 19 – vs. Omaha Beef

May 26 – vs. Reading Express

June 2 – vs. Green Bay Blizzard

June 8 – @ Chicago Slaughter

June 16 – BYE

Season tickets are available now and stay tuned for when individual game tickets will go on sale.

The Steelhawks will be bringing back the fast paced, exciting action of Indoor Football to Stabler Arena at the beginning of 2012. Season tickets are now available. For more information about tickets, please call the Director of Ticket Operations, Jay Sabo at 610-282-3100 or by email at jsabo@lvsteelhawks.com.

For further information please call Lehigh Valley Steelhawks Executive Vice President Mike Clark at (610) 282-3100, or the IFL League Office at (804) 643-PASS (7277). To visit our websites, log onto http://www.LVSteelhawks.com or http://www.goifl.com.

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Rynos and Tigers and Cubs? Oh my…

Plenty of reports of Ryne Sandberg spottings in Chicago. One allegedly at Wrigley Field. Apparently Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein is quite fond of Ryno, but at this point isn’t saying much anything else because he can’t. Epstein is prohibited from speaking publicly about hiring other employees still under contract.

Are these Ryno sightings simply hallucinating, day dreaming Cubs fans or will we have an announcement soon?

Film at 11…

DiPro’s Dish

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A Tiki Bar it is!

The Lehigh Valley IronPigs have unveiled big plans for 2012

The Red Robin Tiki Terrace and Oasis

General Manager Kurt Landes donning a grass skirt under his suit and complementary lei began the festivities by introducing the increased partnership with Red Robin on the new construction at CCP. Mike Axiotis, Vice President of Operations for the Lehigh Valley Restaurant Group was on hand and spoke of his pleasure with the new Red Robin Tiki Terrace and Oasis. Construction is expected to be completed in January and has already begun with some concrete saw-cutting and removal.

Mr. Landes was keen to point out the overhanging seating where the first row actually is in the field of play – a concept not commonly found in any ball park. To me, this is a perfect addition to Coca-Cola Park and kudos to the IronPigs for making it so. The Tiki Terrace & Oasis has something for everyone from larger hospitality groups to smaller groups right down to the individual ticket holder including some things never before seen at Coca-Cola Park all under a thatched roof!

There will be both bar and food service available at the Tiki Terrace and Oasis. IronPig’s head chef Jan Giejda revealed he has some tropical based recipes in his cook book for the Tiki Terrace.  Jan also mentioned he has finished up most of the hospitality menu and will be commencing work on the other menus shortly. We fans certainly have some great new food selections for 2012 to look forward to from Jan and his staff’s talented hands.

The following seating options are available from the new Tiki Terrace and Oasis:

  • Large groups:
    The Tiki Terrace is $37/person for groups consisting of 48-64. This will offer full bar service and a unique tropical themed menu in addition to regular ballpark fair.
  • Smaller groups:
    The Oasis will offer a 4 seat table for $60 and is initially being offered only in nine game mini plans. This area will feature wait service and share some of the tropical menu in addition to regular ballpark fair.
  • All ticket holders:
    The Oasis will also feature a 300 sq foot bar and 5,000 sq feet of covered tables and drink stands open to all other ticket holders. The bar will also include specialty frozen drinks.
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Mike Axiotis (L), Ferrous, Kurt Landes and Red before the unveil

Mike Axiotis (L), Ferrous, Kurt Landes and Red before the unveil

Kurt Landes and the Red Robin Tiki Terrace & Oasis

Kurt Landes and the Tiki Terrace & Oasis (note construction in background)

Ferrous and the New Tiki Terrace

Ferrous and the New Tiki Terrace

The New Red Robin Tiki Terrace & Oasis

The New Red Robin Tiki Terrace & Oasis

Red and an overview of The Tiki Terrace

Red and The Tiki Terrace (note construction in the background)

Detailed view of The Tiki Terrace [note the overhanging row of seats]

Detailed view of The Tiki Terrace (note the overhanging row of seats)

Dipro’s Dish

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Andy Tracy Retiring?

The following is from the Sentinel-Tribune in Bowling Green, Ohio, the home town of Andy Tracy.  The date on the article is 10/18/2011.

http://www.sent-trib.com/other-sports/tracy-considering-end-of-baseball-career-10-18-11

Andy Tracy has been a professional baseball nomad for the last 16 years.
After getting his start at old Pee Wee Park off Mercer Road in Bowling Green, Tracy was a three-sport standout at Bowling Green High School, and a four-year letterman in two sports at Bowling Green State University. He would go on to play professionally with three different Major League teams and 11 different minor league teams.
Now 38-years-old, Tracy is considering retiring as an active player.
“That’s what I’ve decided unless something really, really weird happens,” Tracy said in a recent telephone interview from his home in Columbus. He is married and has two children, ages 4 and 2.
“I just know I’m getting old. I know I can still play, but you get to the age where you understand how the game works. It’s tough to find jobs every year,” Tracy added. “You ultimately play to play in the big leagues and that didn’t happen the last couple of  years.”
Tracy spent parts of five different seasons in the Major Leagues, playing in 149 games.
In 2000, he played in 83 games for the Montreal Expos and hit 11 of his 13 career MLB home runs. He hit .260 that season and drove in 32 runs. Tracy also spent part of 2001 with the Expos, playing in 28 games.
In 2004 he played in 15 games for Colorado.
Then in 2008 and 2009 he was with Philadelphia, playing in a total of 13 games, including nine in 2009. He received a World Series ring during his time with the Phillies.
“It was good. Nobody can ever take that away from me,” Tracy said about his 149 MLB games. “I feel really proud of what I’ve done when I was playing.”
Of his 13 career MLB home runs, he hit two each off Jose Lima and Reid Cornelius. He also went deep off Tom Glavine, Mark Wohlers, John Burkett and Ryan Dempster, among others.
His final MLB homer came on April 27, 2001 at Milwaukee against Allen Levrault. It was a pinch-hit home run for the Montreal Expos and came on a 3 ball, 1 strike count.
Tracy had a 16-year minor league career, including 11 seasons in Class AAA, which is one step below the majors. In his minor league career, Tracy hit 296 home runs and drove in 1,064 runs while batting .268.
This past season he battled some injuries with Reno in the Pacific Coast League. He played in 85 games and hit .288 with 18 homers and 51 RBI.
“I always felt that my numbers would dictate when I need to retire. I had another good year this year with limited at-bats,” Tracy said. “But when you get to the age I am, there are not many 38-year-olds in the minor leagues. And then not getting a chance to make a big-league team; you just kind of make the decision and get on with the next part of your life.”
And even though Tracy plans to retire, that doesn’t mean he’s done with baseball.
He has made contact with several MLB organizations, including Cleveland, the New York Mets, Philadelphia and Arizona about becoming a minor league manager.
“We’re just trying to find the best option on where to go, and just trying to find the fastest way or the best organization to be with, maybe to get back in the big leagues,” Tracy said.
Tracy has used the same agent during his entire pro career, but now Tracy is doing a lot of the legwork trying to find a job.
“It’s better to call people that you know instead of having that middle person involved,” Tracy said.
“I ultimately want to be a manager. That’s what I’ve been interviewing for with different organizations. I know I can be a hitting coach, that would not phase me at all. But managing is a whole different animal,” he continued. “I just know I can pass on the knowledge of getting prepared and establishing yourself as a hard worker, getting ready for a game, and letting the results dictate who you are. All you can do is prepare to be good and then you play the game and see what happens. If you prepare right, good things are going to happen for you.’
Finding a job as a manager can be difficult.
“It’s hard to find a manager job right out of the gate. A lot of guys do it with a lot of big league time. Those guys get the opportunity more than a guy like me,” Tracy said. “They want to start you a lot of times as a hitting coach, then move you into a managerial position. It’s the protocol in baseball, it’s just how it’s been for years. It’s hard to break it.”
And of course, Tracy could still have a few at-bats in him. He has played winter baseball in the past and if opportunity calls, he may give it another shot.
“I don’t know if I’ll go. If somebody calls me out of the blue, maybe I’ll pop down there and play,” Tracy said. “It’s always nice to go down to winter ball, play down there and do some stuff. I haven’t made that decision to go down there yet.”
And if his playing career is over, Tracy has no regrets.
“My dreams were always to play in the big leagues, playing pro ball,” Tracy said. “You never think about that as a kid, you just kind of show up and play and see what happens. That’s what I do every year, show up and play, be competitive and try to be the best player on the field and go from there.
“I’m proud with what I’ve done and nobody can take that away from me; my numbers speak for themselves. I’m very happy and very proud with what I’ve done with my life and my career.”

 

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New Addition to Coca Cola Park in 2012!

A press announcement went out Friday with:

“The Lehigh Valley IronPigs will be holding a press conference on Tuesday, Oct. 25, at 2:00 p.m. at Coca-Cola Park to issue a significant announcement regarding their home facility.”

Our minds started spinning wondering what this announcement will be… Can we wait until Tuesday to find out?

Thanks to DiPro… we might not have to!

To save any dramatics… here is what we got.

From the Modular Product Blog there is a plan to build a Tiki Bar around the bullpens in Left field at Coca Cola Park.

Images included from the source:

A rough sketch of the project

The Tiki Bar appears to wrap around and connect to the existing picnic area.

View from the field

View from the Kid Zone area

View from Kram's Korner, the club level

So, perhaps we are gaining another outfield bar, a few more what I expect could be “premium” seats and an area to heckle opposing pitchers in the bullpens. Not bad, really.

That space has been open and relatively unused for the first four years of IronPig’s baseball. A great use of space in our opinion. Might lose the golf game and speed pitch – perhaps they will be relocated.

The overhang seating does remind me of something the R-Phils had a few years back. I had the opportunity to sit in that section once and was impressed by the view and the accessibility.

Certainly that brings about a few questions should this construction occur:

1. Will this area be first come – first serve as the current Trough deck area is?

2. If not, will the seating and tickets be available to individuals or just as a “party package” to groups? If it is groups only, hopefully the minimum will be low – 5+ seems acceptable. This would allow smaller groups to take advantage of the amenities.

3. With two bars in the outfield, will more restroom facilities be required??

4. Will security be increased in the outfield area?

5. I hope they spell Lincoln correctly. (probably just scratch drawings)

Anyway, the good news of a possible Tiki Bar behind the bullpen has me in smiles tonight.

Many, many thanks to Dipro for digging this out and…

OinK!

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A Whole Day of Steelhawks Fun! 10/28/2011

The Lehigh Valley Steelhawks invite you to join them at their 2012 Lehigh Valley Steelhawks Schedule Release Press Conference!

Friday, October 28th, 2011

- 12:00pm
Refreshments with Meet & Greet

- 1:00pm
Press Conference

- 5:00pm – 8:00pm
Samual Adams Brew Pub Happy Hour Meet and Greet Players, Dancers and Front Office Staff

Meet the Steelhawks Family!

Hosted by:
Holiday Inn
7736 Adrienne Drive
Fogelsville

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